Building an Environment for Workplace Productivity
Although remote work has largely become the norm in the past year, there are plenty of indications that employees will be returning to offices as summer approaches. While some companies are inviting team members back onsite in pre-pandemic fashion, many are rolling out a rotating or limited schedule. If you are an architect who dreams up office building design concepts, it is a good time to start helping your clients prepare for this inevitable return of in-office workers. The main question, in particular, is how to create a productive work environment as you do so. Here are a few ways.
Sight: Setting The Tone
Technology became more crucial than ever this past year, serving as the tie that held coworkers together. But now, as companies put boots back on the ground in physical offices, it is important to consider the impact of architecture on human behavior. Specifically, how can you design a space from a visual perspective to encourage productivity and focus?
To start, think about how the aesthetics of a corporate interior set the tone for the team members arriving there each day. Is it welcoming? Is it motivating? You can use something like a video wall with engaging, dynamic content to invite and inspire employees into the space every day.
You could also give thought to incorporating digital signage, such as wayfinding, to help prevent worker stress and ensure they know where to find things that may have been moved since they were last onsite. Remember, too, that the color blue is widely accepted as the most conducive to productivity, so use care when planning the colors and graphic elements that will appear via your AV solutions, such as digital art.
Sound: Striking The Right Balance
While most architects immediately think in terms of sight, sound is sometimes overlooked. We have learned, however, that it is every bit as important when designing for productivity. Too much noise can be distracting, while too little noise can feel strange and oddly disruptive. This is why we help our clients apply the basic principles of acoustics so they can ensure that only the people involved in a given conversation are the ones to hear it.
Most people need to hear some sort of background noise in order to work productively, while employees also often prefer good sound insulation so they can speak freely without being overheard by others. Whether through installing updated microphones and speakers, piping in white noise, or using sound masking systems, make sure to plan for the right balance of sound and silence.
Interpersonal: Communication & Collaboration
Finally, the right AV systems can elevate your company’s level of cohesion between team members. Especially since employees have been physically separated for a long time, it will be key to find ways to bring them together once in physical proximity again.
It is also a good idea to revisit the video and audio technology available in conference and meeting rooms and the cohesion of your in person and technology solutions. Are the displays updated for those on video? Are your tech solutions all integrated? Do you have technology that will ensure team members who are onsite can connect with clients and collaborate with team members? Any failings on this front can interrupt meetings and crush collaboration, so prepare for your AV solutions to be working at their peak before everyone returns.
Give us a call to learn how we can work together to bring employees back to a more productive office environment.