Top 7 Office Design Red Flags

The office should be a space that delivers meaningful experiences. Today’s employees need more than just the right facilities to be productive, they need a destination office, a space that will make them feel valued, connected, and inspired. By avoiding the below list of red flags, businesses can ensure they get the most out of their staff and retain and attract top talent. 

1. Lack of diversity and /or inclusion

A lack of diversity and inclusion is a huge red flag when it comes to office design. If your office space doesn’t account for different faiths, cultures, experiences, and disabilities, then you have the potential to miss out on top-tier talent, thus, the office must be designed to be inclusive. An inclusive office design can be achieved through design features like incorporating multi-faith rooms for prayer.

Designing for neurodiversity has become increasingly important in the modern workplace. Neurodiversity is the term coined for individuals whose brain functions differently from what we consider ‘normal’, this includes people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and a range of other neurodiverse conditions.  A neuro-inclusive approach to office design means making considerate, intelligent changes, such as incorporating headphones in meeting rooms, and manually adjustable light controls. These simple adjustments can transform an environment, making it neuro-inclusive.

2. Lack of flexibility 

A successful workplace offers a variety of spaces to provide staff with the choice of how they work. By allowing employees to personalise their working experiences to suit their needs, you ensure productivity by promoting versatility and collaboration.

Many workplaces used to be designed for a one-size fits all template. The Flexible Office, however, is designed to adapt and evolve. Rather than having a dedicated space for each employee, it’s a more open environment with collaborative areas for teams. The incorporation of modular furniture which can be reconfigured and moved around will provide spaces suitable for different task types. Many modern offices are also being designed to create a homely environment, such as soft, low seating and replica living rooms, which provides a calming, comfortable, atmosphere.

3. Poor sustainability

Recent climate crises have brought sustainability to the forefront of many people’s mind, especially Millennials and Gen-Z. Organisation that lack eco-accreditations, sustainable initiatives, and green credentials risk isolating top tier talent. There are many ways that businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability through office design techniques such as incorporating repurposed or locally sourced furniture. Businesses that demonstrate an environmental responsibility will become a much more desirable place to work.

4. No collaborative spaces

With Hybrid working becoming the new norm, the way we use the office has changed. Workspaces which are designed to focus on autonomous working have become outdated, with the need for collaborative spaces replacing this traditional model. Organisations which don’t account for this new way of working will struggle with staff retention and productivity.

The modern office needs to have dynamic spaces to allow for staff connection and collaboration. There are many ways to incorporate collaborative spaces in the office, like making use of ‘dead space’. Every office will have pockets of empty space, consider filling these spaces with furniture to encourage impromptu meetings.

5. A lack of social spaces

A lack of a social scene gives the impression that a business doesn’t have a positive culture or sense of team. With the increase of hybrid working, employees now more than ever want their office to be a place with a strong social scene, where they can bond and forge relationships with their colleagues. Office interior can respond to this demand through creating spaces for relaxation, designing large flexible areas or kitchens which can bring people together. If your budget allows it, consider introducing a lounge area and bar where employees can chat after work.

6. Too much noise

Any effective office design avoids creating a noisy work setting. An office which is designed without amble acoustic management is counter-productive for staff productivity. There are many design features that can be used to reduce office noise. One of the easiest ways is through the strategic placement of plants and furniture. Plants, like evergreen shrubs, are excellent sound blockers because of their thick branches. Similarly, upholstered chairs and sofas made from plush fabrics like corduroy, are effective sound absorbers.

7. Poor Technology

The incorporation of technology into office space design has become a necessity in today’s digital era. As companies strive to improve workplace productivity, it is becoming increasingly important that staff are provided with the best tools and technology. Without the right tools, peak productivity isn’t attainable.

The rise of hybrid working has prompted the need for effective communication which has become the backbone of a successful organisation. Seamless connectivity can now be achieved through the emergence of cloud computing, remote collaboration tools and virtual meeting platforms. It is imperative that organisation leverage this communication technology to ensure a smooth flow and enhance employee engagement.

In this new era of work, it is imperative that organisations create a meaningful workplace. By avoiding the above red flags, the workplace will become a space that attracts and retains talent.

If you would like to find out more about office red flags, speak to one of our experts.