Designing A Modern Office Space To Lure The Best Talent
Every company naturally hopes to attract the best talents to join their company. The conundrum is that these talented individuals already have dozens of companies vying for their next employee of the year. How then do you stand out in a sea of competitors? To attract the right employees to work for you, the trick is to ensure your company is as attractive as your products – literally. Your office design and layout represent the associated company’s image, making the first and perhaps most impactful impression on job applicants, a significant deciding factor in whether they would like to become a member of your organisation.
For this reason, an increasing number of businesses are engaging the services of office interior designers and office fit-out specialists to create a commercial premise that paints an accurate and attractive picture of their company and its values. On the company’s end, a contemporary and ergonomic work environment also significantly boosts employee productivity. It is crucial to note that one size does not fit all – every individual is bound to have varying preferences when it comes to comfort and aesthetics. Nevertheless, here are three sure-fire design concepts for modern offices that you can experiment with to attract and retain the best candidates.
Project: Euromonitor International, Singapore (Image courtesy of OSCA)
A flexible workspace
Traditional workplace plans are a relic of the past. The rigid placements of desks, chairs, cabinets and other furniture are slowly making way for easily movable and easily resizable furniture as part of what is known as the flexible workspace concept. A flexible workplace plan typically comes with an open space for resizable furniture to be moved around and adjusted – think rearranging the office desks, chairs and tables into your desired configuration. A meeting table is one such piece of furniture that can be reconfigured and shifted around because they are on wheels. The same goes with desks and workstations. Holding an impromptu meeting? Simply move your desk into an empty spot and resize it to create room for your team to gather and exchange ideas. Is the noise level affecting your affecting your ability to focus and concentrate? Just grab one of those foldable desks and park yourself in a more secluded space within the office.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of a flexible workspace is the absence of an allocated seating arrangement. Here, staff have the freedom to choose from any desk or workstation on any given workday. This concept is bolstered by an increasingly computerised world wherein most information is digitalised, reducing the need for paper documents. These factors allow for a more flexible office space with greater mobility among employees. As such, a contemporary workstation mainly features a simple desk and chair with a computer, keyboard and mouse. Research shows that a flexibility-based workplace model promotes collaboration between teams since most projects are multi-functional and involve many different roles and purposes.
Project: Kpler, Singapore (Image courtesy of OSCA)
An activity-based workspace
Long gone are the days where a single social space for staff to relax and socialise was regarded as an employee privilege. Employees in the current age expect an office environment where they can pick and choose how and where they work. The activity-based working model facilitates mobility within the office, thereby allowing individuals to select the type of work setting that suit their current activity at any given moment in time. If you are having trouble focusing on the task at hand, perhaps consider retreating into a quiet, isolated area to reduce distractions from colleagues. If you happen to be working on a collaborative project with a group of co-workers, a traditional desk or modern desk arranged in a manner that facilitates open communication may be ideal. Some suggested areas for an activity-based workplace include open office areas, meeting areas, privacy areas and lounge areas.
An open office area is where you will find a more traditional seating arrangement, whereby staff are seated closely together – albeit without any walls or cubicle barriers separating them. These areas are perfect for activities that require frequent interaction, allowing employees to discuss and exchange ideas. If you fancy a quieter environment for discussions, a meeting room in the form of an enclosed room or a lounge area awards a more conducive space. A privacy area is also useful if you need to make confidential phone calls or hold discreet meetings involving no more than three employees, as they are either made up of tiny and enclosed soundproof cubicles or located in an isolated area in the office. You may also retreat into the lounge area to seek respite from work. Typically furnished with comfortable seating such as couches, armchairs and beanbags, these areas are also suitable for spontaneous meetings, relaxing activities and work that requires less concentration. A versatile, activity-based workplace design hence offers a different space for a different task.
Project: Kpler, Singapore (Image courtesy of OSCA)
A homely workspace
Many employees around the world regard their office as a home away from home. Afterall most people spend over half their waking hours every year at work. In response to this phenomenon, organisations across the world are incorporating the concept of a home away from home into their workplace design. Office spaces now include lounge areas with comfortable couches for staff to rest and unwind. Recreational spots with billiard tables or table football allow staff to relax and destress as they partake in light activities. Exercise gyms and showers alongside outdoor terraces and balconies are some other commonly found office amenities. That said, cosy lounges and leisure areas are not just for fun and games – they can be put to productive use as well.
Lounge rooms can double up as a casual meeting room area with the help of homely couches, writing desks and coffee tables. In place of a corporate environment, project discussions can also be held on the alfresco terrace overlooking a scenic landscape. These are all things a person typically enjoys in the luxury of their own home. By incorporating a home away from home concept, the lines between work and leisure start to blur as employees find comfort in their second home located right in the heart of the workplace. A home-like office becomes a less intimidating and formal setting for staff to openly express their thoughts and work comfortably, inevitably enhancing workplace productivity.