July 11, 2017
Make Your Space Functional & Inspirational
By Kerry Crump
Heads up: confounding stat coming at ya! Gallup’s State of the American Workplace says that only 30% of US employees are engaged at work. That’s like watching the NBA Finals and only LeBron, Kyrie, and Steph did anything to prepare for the game. Spoiler alert: that’s bad for business and a waste of human capital.
There are innumerable studies surveying the importance of an engaged and inspired workforce—namely productivity and retention. Gallup’s study says that engaged and inspired teams grow profits 3x faster and are 87% less likely to leave.
Employees are a company’s greatest asset, making it imperative to provide them with the tools and atmosphere they need to be successful. For this post, we’ll take a closer look at that atmosphere through both function and inspiration.
What makes an office space functional?
It starts with some questions or considerations like how much space should you provide each employee, what employee habits (e.g. transparency and collaboration) do you want to encourage, what is your stance on categories such as privacy, flexibility and comfort, etc.
The answers require some serious thought and ultimately define what your office space says about your company. At a basic level, they essentially tell you what you need to know to design your office layout—but it is really the bare minimum. It’d be like putting a TV in a “TV Room” without any couches. And that’s just rude. You don’t want to be rude, so how do you arrive at the intersection of function and inspiration?
Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a map to the destination. But, there are a few “points of interest” along the way for you to discover and explore.
How do you make your space inspirational? How do you make your office space really work for you?
You can’t force creativity and inspiration, but you can nurture it.
I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about interior design, corporate design or feng shui. But, I can tell you what works here at UPBrand.
WORKPLACE MOBILITY: We have a lot of different types of spaces – from our desks and couches, to open and private working spaces, to areas for music and chatting to spots for peace and quiet. Sometimes the best thing for our productivity is a change of scenery.
COLLABORATION: We talk, A LOT. Our open work space allows us to group problem solve, bounce thoughts off each other, build on ideas, vent and share successes. Collaborative is in our company name. In fact, we have a phrase for it. We call this #TeamingSoHard.
COMFORT: I mentioned couches, but that’s not exactly what I mean here. This one isn’t tangible. Inspiration requires fearlessness. For people to be truly inspired, they can’t be afraid to take risks. Encourage innovative thinking by making employees comfortable with taking risks.
HAVE FUN: We do this one well. Studies have proven that taking short, hourly breaks improves our work productivity. Seems counterproductive right? Not really. Losing focus on a prolonged task is called “vigilance decrement” and occurs when a stimulus no longer registers in a meaningful way. This happens because your brain has become “habituated” to that stimulus. So, to keep our creative brains from becoming mentally stagnant, we take breaks. This is when heated games of darts take place or we shoot Nerf guns at the boss, err… at a small flying drone.
The needs of the modern American workforce are changing. The workplace must evolve to better suit those needs. When we can get all the players operating at their highest and best use, that’s when the fun and magic happen!