Gearing up for a big office move? Spare yourself the stress and join us for a live call with PivotDesk on The Top Mistakes Businesses Make When Moving Offices — and How to Avoid Them.
When planning for an upcoming office move, there is a TON of logistical work to get done ahead of time. From coordinating a number of service providers, to finding a mover you can trust — it takes a lot of coordination to get a team moved into a new space and ensure that space is set up to support them.
Unfortunately, while you’re busy thinking about the logistics of the move, it’s easy to overlook one of the most important factors in your team’s productivity:
A well thought-out office environment is arguably the most important factor in ensuring your team will be happy and productive in the new space. With the right preparation, you can give your team a positive experience in the space starting on day one.
Where to focus first? Collaboration.
The millennial generation makes up the largest share of the workforce these days, and they value social connections and collaborative work.
As many offices adopt the open space trend, they are providing opportunities for employees to interact, exchange ideas, and fuel their creativity. However, the best open space designs still incorporate some degree of privacy. Whether it’s meeting rooms, quiet spaces or individual pods, employees need the option to step out of a collaborative environment in order to execute work on their down. Eliminating all private spaces could be a big mistake — as is discussed in this Forbes article.
If you’re trying to strike the right balance, we recommend considering the stages that accompany collaboration in the workspace. For example, while group meetings are prevalent, individuals will take time to prep for those meetings on their own. Additionally, they will have work coming out of the meeting that they’ll work on separately from the group. Providing space to comfortably accommodate all of these stages is what makes for a productive, collaborative office design. This concept is called “location batching.”
Here are four tips for effectively incorporating location batching into your space:
Leave room for private space
As mentioned above, every workday includes some time in which privacy is helpful. Making phone calls, for example, is notoriously difficult in a “cubicle farm.” This need for privacy can be filled in innovative ways. Studies show that people actually focus better if they can move around in the course of the day, so you may look to incorporate phone rooms vs. booths to leave room for that type of activity. These spaces will double as quiet space for non phone related work and small group meetings. Some companies with a more relaxed vibe have established “phone balconies,” which serve the same purpose, allowing calls to be made outside of the general office hum.
Increase collaboration with Social Space
Collaboration happens when people interact, and including common social spaces in office design is a good way to encourage that sort of mingling. Open lounges, coffee bars, patios, and other common break areas provide comfortable spaces for doing less intense tasks, like emailing, and they also create opportunities for “collision” — or, the spontaneous and often unexpected sharing of ideas. For example, 2 team members are discussing a plan for an upcoming marketing event. An engineer overhears this and mentions that his wife works for a catering company that might be able to provide discounted food…and BOOM a new idea is formed. Getting people up and moving around the office will naturally spur more conversations and spark collaboration.
Optimize open space by incorporating zones
It’s useful to consider grouping workspaces into zones for the most efficient use. Setting up quiet work areas in close proximity makes sense from a noise management standpoint. Keep in mind that collaborative offices offer spaces that are designed for specific tasks rather than a specific person. Employees are more productive when they can change their surroundings in the course of the day. Using one room for writing up documents, another for working on a group project, and a third area for relaxing and discussing an upcoming endeavor with a respected colleague makes for a more dynamic organization.
Prepare to Share
In most cases, business move because they need more space. However, 9 out of 10 companies take on more office space than they can fill right away, leaving room to expand. While this approach is very common and practical for a business with a solid growth trajectory, it’s often a risky undertaking. Not only do you have to pay for the unused office space until you grow into it, you have to design your space so that the office doesn’t look empty, which can be bad for morale.
One way to compensate for the unused space, while also encouraging collaboration is office sharing. Sharing your space via PivotDesk allows you to invite businesses to use your excess space until you’re ready to grow into it. Doing so helps increase the energy in the space, opens up a new group of professionals for your team to engage with and offsets the cost of your space.
It’s helpful to consider office sharing as you design the layout of your new office. Look for areas that are easily sectioned off for guest teams and consider conference rooms you can dedicate to your guests so your space becomes more valuable.
Have a move coming up? Be sure to reserve a seat for our live webinar on the strategies you need to structure a smooth move.