Future of Work

The Building Blocks of an Office

Offices are built to help employees do their best work, while cultivating an experience that builds both a memorable brand, and a strong business. Under the microscope, that means, “are we collaborating and doing the things we need to do to grow the business and have a place people love to come to work to every day?”

Think about this: 86% of employees say that lack of collaboration directly impacts workplace success. So, how do we get to a fully functioning machine? How do we build this office of meeting and operating bliss?

The components of the workplace consist of five key parts: technology, furniture, culture/perks, design/layout, and the policies that are in place to manage the office efficiently.

Technology

We start by asking ourselves, “How do folks interact with each other?” These can include things like furniture, design, office layouts; but technology is at the core of this. From conference room setups to the tech stack per role (sales, engineering, etc), to be efficient in the office, you need to have the tools to support your best work. Office tech is more than the laptops, headsets, cell phones and tablets though.

It includes what’s in, or on different parts of the office, as well as software that tasks mundane, manual processes and optimizes them.

  • Desks
  • Conference Rooms
  • Collaborative Spaces
  • Automated Tasks and Processes

Furniture

Furniture is the category that employees interact with most. Sitting, lounging, eating, meetings, meetups — furniture is with them throughout their day.

And fun fact: some of the largest companies in the world spend close to $100 million on furniture. Just ask the Environmental Protection Agency.

When it comes to the furniture, and building an office for your employees, we’ve highlighted some offices recently that you might find inspiring.

Culture and Perks

It can be what drives the best talent, and keeps those who believe in the mission of the company and the environment that surrounds it. Polling some companies that do this the best, here are some of the things they focus on:

  • Accommodating employees’ style of work
  • Amenities (catering, etc)
  • Events, both in and out of the office
  • Referral programs (fitness, new hires, etc)
  • Professional development

It’s a pillar of the office because at the end of the day, your employees and the environment they help build is what creates a relationship, and a business, that lasts.

Design and Layout

From company branding and color scheme to the personality and layout of spaces, design is all encompassing, and really pulls at the fabric, and DNA of the workplace you’ve built. Whether it’s an open office layout, or collaborative pods that folks can sneak away to be productive, building spaces that can be used for any kind of work is key.

These questions can help you understand how to design your office to put employees first:

  • How do your employees get their best work done? Is it in open areas and breakout spaces? Large conference rooms with whiteboards?
  • How can you motivate and inspire your employees?
  • Have you brainstormed with your colleagues?
  • In the end, will this be something you’re proud of?

Office Management and Policies

A workplace can be well designed, have furniture that compliments employees’ style of work, and have the tech needed to do the job well, but none of that matters if the office ship isn’t tightly run.

Each office operates differently, but there are a few places where effective management helps the office run a bit smoother.

  • Recurring meeting policies
  • Basic rules on when to move conversations in open work areas to a more private area
  • Designated spaces for standup meetings (scheduled of course)

Want to Learn More about the Workplace?

We recently published a report on the future of the workplace I think you’ll like. Download it here.

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