Reshaping the Office Landscape: How smart companies are mixing up the office rules
I have always been keen to build incredible and enjoyable workspaces; I have a passion for it, and it sparked the idea for my business some 30 years ago.
An assumption most people have about entrepreneurs is that they’re solely in it for the money. However, if you were to ask an experienced entrepreneur what motivates them, the successful ones wouldn’t speak of money but rather enthuse about their desire to make a difference with a passion for solving problems.
I conceived Source One with this goal in mind – to create dynamic, innovative and flexible workplaces for SME sized organisations – something that makes a difference, driving business performance; deep pockets or not it doesn’t matter.
Research has revealed that a workplace that encourages collaborative working increases productivity. Hence, open-plan offices have grown in popularity, with the enterprising idea to encourage cohesion and contribute to a collegial workplace culture.
The working landscape is now more than ever about giving employees what they want and the tools to do their jobs well. By giving people an exemplary work environment, the entire workforce gets behind management and understands that you care. Focusing and putting energy into people and their environment in turn ensures the bottom line takes care of itself.
If we single out a successful business that invests in its staff and creative work space, most would quote Google. Out-Googling Google would be no mean feat, but that isn’t necessarily the goal. By combining space, technology and people, along with a little resourcefulness, there is a way to create the extraordinary without it costing the earth!
Creating the perfect space isn’t just down to the aesthetics. It’s about how a space is used and how emotive it is to hang out or work in. The way I see it, the workplace is an incubator for ideas and innovation; it’s an enabler of work; it’s an experience for employees, clients and partners and it is a symbol to the outside world of what a company stands for.
Some of the fastest growing and top businesses today are adopting a much more relaxed approach to the office environment and it doesn’t stop at office design. It’s helping employees to be the best they can be at work, whilst having fun in the workplace. It’s a means to achieve a positive work / life balance.
For businesses, it could be restructuring an office for enhanced collaboration and out-of-office functionality or creating a social space for break-out meetings, coffee catch-ups and lunch, or a £200 table tennis table to give people a release from work. Whatever the gesture or enhancement it can make a substantial difference to the working hub; small gestures make a big impact.
In time, every business will have a social space, kitchen, library, gym, pool table, creche and more, but until then it’s about creating an environment that sparks a feel-good factor – building a culture and atmosphere that embraces people and instils loyalty.