One Size Does Not Fit All

Written by

Senator

One Size Does Not Fit All

November 14, 2019

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In years gone by, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to office design might have been the norm, but as the decades have progressed, so too have the options available to businesses designing ‘homes from home’ for their office based workforces.

Given that every office is filled with individuals who have their own preferences and unique approach to the working day, Senator commissioned a comprehensive survey of the UK’s office population that would evaluate the current approach to office design. The aim was to establish how we work, relating to tasks we undertake every day and how we differ individually.

So how do people want to work?

PRIVACY / Behind closed doors
Privacy remains a huge consideration for all concerned, an issue that has been exacerbated as floorplates have become larger and divides broken down.

Fact 81% of employees would prefer to be alone when speaking on the telephone

POSTURE / Are you sitting comfortably?
Hot desking, mobile working and standing desks have become widely accepted by businesses. Breakout spaces with a domestic feel are fast becoming a common sight within the workplace.

Fact— 41% of people would prefer the option to change their working height.

COLLABORATION / Come Together
It is universally accepted that teams find better solutions faster than individuals. Harnessing collective knowledge and focusing it through collaboration is the key to future success.

Fact— 71% of people prefer not to sit at a desk or meeting table when sharing ideas.

DEMOGRAPHICS / Bridging the Gap
Our greatest insight was that the biggest influencers over preference are age and seniority. There is a natural discord that has developed between the older generation - which is used to a territorial way of life - and the sharing economy that younger employees have become accustomed to.

Fact— 62% of the workforce in an office is over 35 years old.

Work (Yellow) - Every person in every office will have their own way of working, whether that be a quiet Pod to focus, or a place for their team to perch and catch up.

Share (Blue) - The most successful businesses create informal spaces to allow their people to share their knowledge and ideas quickly and effectively. Valuable meeting space is saved, teams create their best work and managers have regular
one-to-ones.

Show (Red) - The biggest decisions are made in meeting rooms and executive offices across the world. The quality of the furniture within these rooms is a reflection not only of an organisation’s culture, but also the status of the individuals using it.

Source (Source) - It goes without saying that good organisation goes in hand with increased productivity. Time and money are saved when resource ‘hubs’ are created. Visual and acoustic distractions are minimised and partitions are created by the clever use of screening.

Refresh (Orange) - More than a place to grab a quick coffee, cafés and dining areas are now seen as a community hub, a place to network, a chance to refresh and a tool for recruiting and retaining people. Informal interaction and conversation create and strengthen inter departmental relationships.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Agile Working

Whether we have an assigned or shared desk, we are all working in an increasingly agile way, utilising appropriate areas for individual tasks. In response to this, we created a bespoke programme with five activity based categories that help maximise the efficiency of any office space. This gives individuals the freedom to migrate around the office utilising the furniture setting that is most relevant to the task being undertaken.

Organisations with highly engaged employees report a 22% increase in profitability

A space that allows for cross functional teams to work independently or together. A floor plan as a landscape that has a variety of spaces with a shared warm ambience, which reinforce concentration, collaboration and confidentiality.

A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. Instead, empowering employees to tailor their environment to increase their own productivity can reap rewards in terms of satisfaction and performance.