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The Internet is a wonderful place to explore an ideal lifestyle. Spread among images of lakeside chalets and multimillion-dollar automobiles are interior and exterior shots of some of the most impressive office designs in the world.
These are offices that make the current ‘work from home’ trend caused (to a large extent) by the regulations governing our lives in the time of the Coronavirus seem even less attractive an option. In fact, these designs with their nap pods, inter-floor slides, games rooms, and cafeterias offering 5-star menus make many of our own homes pale into insignificance they’re enough to make you long for office life.
However, as impressive as these world-class offices are there’s a sound business reason behind what many people would see as excess attention to office interiors in Dubai.
Here are 5 reasons why great office design can affect a company’s bottom line – and increase its competitive advantage.
1. Employee Happiness
The first reason is a fairly obvious one. A convivial working environment makes for happier employees – and happy employees are more productive.
Most companies now realize that an employee will be spending a significant portion of their lives at the workplace – the search for a work/life balance cannot only rely on giving those employees time off – they need to experience added lifestyle value while they are at work.
Newer office designs featuring more natural light and open spaces also reduce stress – there are numerous studies that prove this. Stress contributes to illness and that means less productive days. Staff needs to be happy – and healthy.
2. Attract the Right People
The best and the brightest candidates in your industry will almost inevitably take a look at your office while doing an Internet search for prospective employers. Your office needs to stand out from the herd.
Just like the profile pictures of the senior management, the office needs to put its best foot forward in a visual format. Use a professional photographer – and make sure that your office space speaks for itself.
3. Your Office = Your Brand
You’d better believe that first impressions are important. Prospective customers or clients will notice the office design – and that design should reflect the professionalism of all who work in it – and the brand itself.
The same applies to partners. It’s simply not good enough to have a business relationship based on a signature on an agreement. Both these parties need to be continually reassured about the ‘personality’ of the business – and your office design will speak volumes about what makes your company tick.
If you’re in the creative industry a few ‘old school’ coin-operated arcade games and an artistically embellished acrylic floor, as well as a coffee station offering snacks and some inspired coffee choices speak volumes.
If you’re a legal or accounting firm – or consultants, go for a slightly restrained look. Deep mahogany accents in the boardroom, marble surfaces, and leather chairs provide a sense of gravitas.
4. The Design reflects Core Values
Althougbrealted to the idea of a brand personality, values deserve to be addressed separately. Your brand personality may be fun and funky, or aloof – but office design also speaks to the values which underpin the operations of the organization.
Where you are counts, as does the external and internal design of your offices. Think about proudly displaying your certification as a ‘Green’ operation, any awards you have in the field of community development, show that you have a play area for working mothers.
A business in the 21st century is more than just an engine for the creation of wealth – it must play its part in uplifting communities and individuals and being an active custodian of a better world.
5. The Design should be ‘Fit for Purpose’
There is the understandable urge to simply make the office a ‘fun’ place to be, however great office design is aimed at more than just making the workspace more pleasant. It also contributes directly to productivity.
For instance, if your business model emphasizes collaborative effort then the office design should feature open spaces where teams can get together.
A creative company needs to inspire creativity with art and even the design of walls and floors. Allow people to play and interact informally – that’s when some of the best ideas come to life.
Even the ergonomic design of chairs and tables play their parts – as do the suggestions of employees. Give them the opportunity to provide input into the type of office environment that they want – and execute those ideas.
Aw ell designed office is much more than a space to have fun, although that should definitely factor into the work experience.
It is a place where employees feel comfortable enough to focus – and are supplied with an environment that allows them the freedom to do so. It may not require a room filled with pinball machines and video games, but it does require some thought.