A FLEXIBLE AND DYNAMIC LAYOUT
In general, we see a tendency towards workplaces designed with a more dynamic and flexible layout – especially the younger employees expect a workplace to have different zones intended for ”play”, sports and quite places with room for comtemplation and meditation. There has to be a mix of environments supporting different needs for e.g. movement, social activities, de-stressing – in order for the employees to decide for themselves where they want to stay - choosing an area that will support the activity or the need that they have right now. Flexibility, variation and options promote the general well-being and the individual comfort. Giving the employees the control over what environment they wish to reside in, makes them feel better. Having the choice is a factor that in itself decreases stress and increases productivity. Variation in the work environments is also important because we are all different. Introverts need quiet areas, giving them the possibility to concentrate, while extroverts need to be stimulated socially in order to thrive and perform optimally.
WORK AND LEISURE MELTING TOGETHER
Work and leisure have melted together making way for more homey workplaces where social communities can thrive. It is increasingly important that the workplace fill out the need for a homey environment, giving employees a place to belong where social interaction and communities take up place. There is a need for relaxing and unwinding in informal and homey zones and areas where it is possible to socialize – and where it is okay to unplug, relax and get away from work while having a coffee and a chat with colleagues.
COMMUNITY, IDENTITY AND BRANDING
The is a larger and larger need for the office design to support social communities – e.g. by prioritizing areas that encourage social activities where the employees can meet, unplug, chat and e.g. play table football or billiards. But also workplace branding can support the feeling of community and unity. At PLH, we see an increasing demand for architecture and workplace design that support and reinforce the branding of companies and organisations. It is not just a wish to clarify a strong identity towards visitors and costumers, but also a wish to design and brand the workplace in order to attract and maintain employees. At the same time, the branding reinforces the company culture making the employee pride and sense of community flourish.
A HEALTHY INDOOR CLIMATE
Many companies encourage employees to a healthy lifestyle by serving healthy foods in the canteen, offering fitness facilities, common sports activities and creating healthy possibilities of movement in the interior design. In order to establish a healthy environment it is also important to create well-being with pleasant surroundings, healthy choice of materials, good ventilation, cooling, great daylight etc. At the same time, an issue such as acoustics can be critical for the well-being of the employees. It is important with effective acoustics wall coverings, having the right distance between workstations, and in open plan offices, it is also very important to combine open areas with phone and meeting rooms that the employees can use when they hold meeting, are on the phone or need to talk aloud.
Read the full interview with Steen in FM Update here (Danish).