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The Power of Well-Planned Office Spaces

Key Points

  • Activity-Based Workspaces are meant to encourage and enable specific behaviors for employees who want to gather to whiteboard, workshop, watch a training or eat lunch together. It’s a workplace-design ethos that isn’t new but is now a priority as corporate leaders sweat out RTO rates.
  • If You’re Going to the Office Because it’s Tuesday you’re doing it wrong, says Gartner. Intentional hybrid is enabled by strong space planning and design.
  • Sustainable Factors are critical to employees in every industry, and many industry talent reports cite sustainability as a factor when deciding on a new employer. This translates to everything from paper straws to carbon footprints, but also includes things like natural light for employee wellbeing.

What we Know: RTO strategies are stalled, and U.S. employees, despite suggestion, mandates, memos, and public appeals – the CEO of Starbucks said he’d drop to his knees and beg – a majority of U.S. employees apparently find about 2 days in the office is enough. And employees are looking for collaborative spaces and ways to connect and collaborate if they are going to suit up for the commute. All of that has made clear to anyone paying attention to mainstream media or niche industry reports. Corporate office occupancy rates are stalled, and the newest territory for opportunity in the RTO landscape is office design.

Empty office spaces can contribute to a sense of isolation and detachment among employees, negatively impacting productivity. On the other hand, well-planned office spaces consider the needs of individuals and teams, providing an environment that fosters concentration, focus, and efficient workflow. If you’ve ever come into the office to sit alone in fluorescent lighting, you’ve felt the pain of a less-than-perfect RTO strategy.

Activity-Based Workspaces: Behavior-based design is where it’s at. Many companies have adopted activity-based workspaces, providing a variety of work environments tailored to different tasks and employee preferences. These spaces may include quiet zones for focused work, collaboration areas for team projects, and social spaces for informal gatherings. Such environments empower employees to choose the space that best suits their needs, promoting productivity and engagement.

3 Ways Great Spaces Help the Bottom Line

  1. Fostering Creativity and Collaboration:

Individual and collaborative spaces within offices are essential for stimulating creativity and promoting collaboration among employees. While individual workstations offer privacy and a conducive environment for deep thinking and concentration, collaborative spaces such as meeting rooms, open areas, or breakout zones encourage brainstorming, idea sharing, and team collaboration. The ability to easily transition between individual and group work within the same office space allows for a dynamic and innovative work culture.

  1. Driving Sustainability through Efficient Space Utilization:

Empty office spaces – or underutilized spaces – not only waste valuable resources but also contribute to environmental harm. Well-planned office spaces optimize space utilization, reducing the need for excessive square footage. Saving on lighting, cleaning, cooling, and other resources is an obvious benefit to making better of use of spaces. Plus, there is plenty of evidence that says that eco-conscious employees feel increased loyalty to companies who make a commitment to greener, smarter spaces.

  1. Encouraging the Commute:

Right now, U.S. workers in many industries are reporting they are happiest and most productive when they see colleagues in person about half the week. But if you’re showing up at work because it’s Tuesday, you’re doing it wrong, as one Gartner analyst wrote. Activity-based workspaces encourage intentional hybrid approaches. Science shows we’re more creative when we have tactile experiences – sticky notes and whiteboards – so what if every other Monday your team came together to plan out goals the next 2 weeks? That’s just one example from Gartner’s “Getting Hybrid Right and the Impact of Getting it Wrong.”

To learn more about how Lambent Spaces helps CRE leaders understand where there are opportunities for new space potential and how to design for employee experience, check out our recent blog Optimizing Hybrid Work Strategies with Smart Space Planning or contact one of our CRE experts at all-sales@lambentspaces.com.

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