The Shift in Thinking Behind Modern Office Design

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Traditionally, offices were focused on productivity above all things. Employee output was measured carefully, and the office environment was designed to increase the results generated per person.

Modern offices take a different approach.

Today, the values and behaviors of the average employee are different than they were 10 and 20 years ago. People in the workforce place a higher importance on their quality of life in the office, and companies who want to retain the people they hire are finding that their priorities need to shift.

A Focus on Wellbeing

Traditional thinking implies that an employee is an impersonal unit that’s there to produce results. That approach doesn’t work in the modern office. Instead, the company must see the whole person and consider their complete set of needs.

Of course it’s important to give team members the tools they need to do their jobs well. That part hasn’t changed.

The change lies in the idea that a company must take a holistic view of work life, focusing on overall satisfaction instead of just production. By acknowledging the human needs of the team, a company creates a pleasant work environment and still achieves their business goals.

While it might seem counterintuitive, the people-first approach is just as good for businesses as it is for employees. Younger workers in particular tend to perform far better in this type of environment. It’s important for them to feel appreciated and satisfied at work, and if they’re unhappy, they’ll leave.

People who feel satisfied and appreciated do better work. They produce more in less time, stay at the company longer, and take more initiative to achieve business goals.

When employees really feel like part of the team, they’re working for the other people around them instead of just putting in hours for a paycheck. That’s a powerful distinction – people will always go the extra mile for their friends, whereas they’ll generally do the bare minimum to get by when they’re just working for the money.

Creating A Better Work Environment

It makes sense to want a pleasant work environment, especially when you consider that you’ll spend about a third of every day in the office.

Culture is key, and design influences culture in more ways than you might realize.

Design elements that promote physical wellness, comfort, and mental wellbeing all contribute to a positive and satisfying office culture. Features like ergonomic fixtures and comfortable designated lounge areas can help catalyze change across your entire organization.

The way you design your space depends on the culture you want to create or enhance. As long as you consider the actual humans who will be using that space, you’re moving in the right direction.

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