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Talk to Your Employees Before Your Next Office Remodel

Is it about time your company had a thorough office remodel? This is a great opportunity to bring your work environment and furnishings up to date technologically and ergonomically. You can even do a complete rebrand for a trendier image. But even well-intended changes don’t always go over well with workers—unless they have some input up front.

That’s one key finding of a report from the ILO Staff Union (an EU agency) about office layouts. According to their survey, about one out of three workers were enthusiastic about the idea of change, while approximately 15% were unsure or against the concept. The remaining 55% were only open to changing the workspace if they had some say in how it was done. That’s probably not an attitude that’s restricted to European workers. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Americans like to have control over their work environment as well.

Begin with the Core Requirements

The basics seem to be the same for all age groups. Employees want to be able to focus on their work, have a reasonable degree of privacy, and the opportunity to interact with coworkers. Comfort, security, and aesthetics also make the top 6 list. Obviously, different jobs require a different balance of these elements. However, they serve as a decent foundation for the most important points to take into consideration during a remodel.

Conducting an employee survey of your own is a good way to start the planning process. You can gain insight into how workers are currently using the available space and determine what to change to enjoy the greatest gains in employee satisfaction and engagement. Consider offering a range of workspaces with varying degrees of privacy and additional spaces that can be used on an as-needed basis to meet the requirements of all employees.

Help Employees Get on the Same Page

Speaking of new workspaces, recent trends in working styles reveal that informal meeting areas a popular idea. More than 60% of respondents in the ILO survey were excited about the concept of adding employee lounges or other dedicated collaboration areas to promote teamwork. They also felt it might improve morale.

Huddling around the water cooler or in a boring meeting room isn’t enough when it’s time to really start exchanging ideas. Today’s employees feel more at home in a setting where they can come and go, creating ad hoc teams as needed to get the most productivity out of the shared workspace. Perhaps your office remodel could include a coffee bar or a café style area rather than just another conference room. Let us know what direction you want to go, our free space planning services can help!


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