The history of commercial real estate has seen offices spaces fluctuate greatly throughout the past century. Building construction companies have gone from building grey boxes filled with smaller grey boxes to sprawling corporate metropolises (we’re looking at you, Facebook) all in the name of changing views on workplace productivity.
The value of private office construction at the beginning of 2017 was $6.6 billion, a number that’s only rising with the startup boom. Whether you’re looking at rental properties, site selection for construction, or land acquisition to build from the ground up, an office space is only worth as much as the employees inside it.
A well-designed office space should have the learning and working styles of all of its employees in mind. We’re not saying to coddle them, they’re adults. However, building an office that’s only conducive to the working habits of half of your employees will play a part in potentially decreasing productivity. Let’s look at some design implementations that reflect different working styles.
- Do not disturb: We all know people who work like this. Minimal noise, no outside disturbances whatsoever, the do not disturb worker lives their professional life in solitude because that’s how they’re most productive. Your office space must have areas where these types of workers can get their jobs done in peace.
- Chaotic productive: The opposite of the aforementioned employee are the ones who thrive in noise. Whether that’s in a noisy coffee shop or in a collaborative office working space, they find themselves most productive around other people. Along with solitary, quiet spaces, your office needs to have some open working spaces where these types can flourish (often together).
- The wanderers: As technology advances, we’re less and less anchored to a desk, making work more mobile. The wanderers don’t like sitting still, they get fidgety at desks, and are prone to move locations in the office a few times a day. Where the previous two working types have their “safe” places, the wanderers’ safe places are everywhere. Your office should have a few different spots sprinkled around the space so people who need to move around can work in different places throughout the day.
We’ve only listed a few of the more common worker types that a lot of modern office designs are built to accommodate. What really matters is knowing your employees and, if you’re considering a new office or a redesign, really focusing on their workplace needs. After all, they’re the ones making the place run.