Aspirations of better collaboration and employee retention have IT service providers increasingly looking to trade their traditional office spaces for open plans and other trendy layouts dominating Silicon Valley. On that note, these workspace design trends and tips can help MSPs create a worker-friendly environment that employees will appreciate on many levels.
Maybe you’ve heard about the elaborate workplace amenities at Google. Across its global offices you’ll find features like fireman’s poles and slides Googlers can zip down to make getting around the office a little less boring. This kind of stuff is awesome, but copying a winning formula won’t necessarily produce a winning outcome. Companies must establish their own identity in the way of branding and workspace design.
MSPs can start off on the good foot by building their design efforts around the tasks employees actually perform in the workplace. Think about your team, their role in the organization, and what they’re responsible for on a day to day basis. Your customer service and sales teams probably spend a good portion of their day chatting on the phone with clients. They would probably thrive in an area equipped with ergonomic desk and chair, noise-cancelling capabilities, and few distractions. The workspace should be specially designed to optimize whatever tasks they need to perform.
Different employees have different habits, needs, and preferences. Therefore, it makes sense to customize individual workspaces based on these individual facets. Sound personalization could be as simple as concentrating on three key areas:
1. Work style
IT staffers have some of the quirkiest of work styles. How do your employees prefer to work?
- Sitting down?
- Standing up?
- Listening to music?
- Munching on snacks ?
2. Work tools and office supplies
IT is more than managing computer systems and handling digital tools. What immediate resources do team members need to perform efficiently in their personal workspace?
- Notebooks and sticky notes?
- Colored pens and markers?
- File cabinets and manilla folders?
- Tablets and whiteboads?
3. Aesthetic preferences
Aesthetics help set a mood that allows employees to work comfortably and efficiently. What aesthetic touches does your team need to stay in the production zone?
- Festive colors?
- Bright lighting? Soft lighting?
- Inspiring wall art?
- Ample surface space to dream, doodle, and create?
With respects to company budget and policy, MSPs should allow for as much as workspace customization and personalization as possible.
Privacy or lack thereof, has made the open floor idea one of the most controversial of all workspace design trends. Workers deserve a place they can use to call and check up on the kids, or even speak intimately with management when needed. Privacy pods are being examined as a means of providing that personal space while helping improve workflow in the process. Steelcase is the brainchild of the single-person pod that encapsulates employees in a micro-environment that minimizes distractions and puts the task at hand front and center. Whether this concept takes off is up for debate, but the ideal of privacy fuelling productivity doesn’t sound so farfetched.
The Agile Workspace
Successful MSPs provide critical IT services that allow clients to rapidly respond to the changes around them. It’s called agility, and it happens to be one of the fastest growing workspace design trends in circulation. Agility is about connecting people, processes, and technology in an environment equipped with all the space, tools, and resources they need. This environment may provide a place for brainstorming, meeting with team members, grabbing refreshments, and whatever is essential to maximizing workplace efficiency. There’s a reason tech giants like Google and IBM are pushing the agile workspace trend.
Now more than ever, an attractive workspace design is instrumental in landing top talent from the IT pool, and keeping the best of those employees on your staff. MSPs can create an ideal work environment by integrating workplace features such as:
- Cafe-inspired break rooms or free food
- Ping pong tables for recreation
- Fitness areas and yoga classes
- Childcare facilities
- Sleeping pods for quick naps
Like it or not, the workplace truly is a home away from home. Fostering an atmosphere that allows employees to feel as comfy as possible opposed to just another number on the clock offers a way to make it feel more like home. A sharply defined company culture alone can work wonders at keeping team members in good spirits and motivated to give their very best effort.
Photo Credit: Paul McCoubrie via Flickr