Most workplaces (especially those with many employees) are microcosms of society as a whole. Within a company’s walls are individuals of varying ages, races, ethnicities, interests, talents, skills, and temperaments. While most organizations have a hierarchical setup (with management at the top and interns at the bottom), each employee, regardless of their role, age, or life experience has been chosen to be part of the company for a reason.
Open offices are certainly not the answer for every type of office environment; however, there are many business that can benefit from making the switch from cubicles into an open office space. Some companies are able to forego cubicles and reconfigure their offices into open-concept workspaces that encourage collaboration, bolster creativity and increase workplace morale. If your employees are hidden away in cubicles and you’d like to embrace an open workspace, you’ll probably be relieved to hear that it may be possible to achieve that primarily by reusing what you already have on hand.
If you ask employees to describe their ideal workspace, many would probably describe a spacious corner office with sweeping city views, a fully stocked mini-fridge and a cozy sofa ideal for power naps. Except for a fortunate fraction of workers, the reality is nowhere near this ideal. This ideal does serve as a brass ring to motivate employees, though! Most employees work in either an open workspace or a cubicle, and there are pluses and minuses to both setups.
If you read articles in trade or consumer business magazines (or on our blog, like this one about Open Workspaces vs. Cubicles), you’re probably pretty familiar with the open office concept. Instead of compartmentalizing employees within cubicles, permanent offices, or office crafted of temporary walls, open concept offices are similar to lofts. There are no barriers delineating the square footage that individual employees occupy.
Sustainability: You’ve probably heard the term in relation to business principles and procedures. But do you truly understand what it means? According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, sustainability is the process of adopting business strategies and activities that meet the immediate needs of a business and its stakeholders, while protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future.
If you’re of a certain age, you remember a time when the only way to make a private call when away from home or the office was to step into a phone booth. Prolific on street corners and in businesses, phone booths allowed you to close the door and have conversations others couldn’t hear and conversations not muffled by ambient noises.
Remember the time machine in the movie “Back to the Future”? That’s one example of artificial intelligence, that’s probably not coming to fruition any time soon. Do you ask Siri for directions or summon Alexa or Cortana each morning to find out what the weather forecast is for the day to come? Those are examples of artificial intelligence (AI) that aren’t only here but have reached mainstream appeal.
This may be an unfamiliar term to you, but it's actually a strategy that many teachers embrace -- for their students and for themselves. In the classroom, going deskless in favor of adopting flexible seating options provides coveted extra floor space -- and the freedom for students to position themselves in a way that is most conducive for them to learn (lying on their stomach on the floor, sitting against a wall, sitting on a balance ball, etc.)
Before you can begin focusing on your office design, relocation, or renovation, you must determine approximately how much total and per-employee square footage you need. The fact that OSHA does not strictly mandate space requirements gives employers more flexibility but also means it’s up to employers to designate space effectively.
Why do most people work? Because they need money. Obviously, one way to keep your employees happy is to give them more money. However, sometimes that’s not feasible. And, sometimes the most highly compensated employees are not happy and leave to take a lower-paying job that offers a better quality of life. Giving employees a raise is definitely no guarantee that employees will be happy. It’s also not the only thing you can do to increase morale in the workplace. Here are several creative ways to keep employees happy without giving them a raise.