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Lessons from HR that can be applied to office design

HR experts often find ways to make productivity excel and office design is not the exception. Learn how human resources knowledge can be applied to the work environment.

Are you looking to enhance the productivity of your office? Here are 5 HR principles that can be an essential factor in improving corporate results through innovation and workflow.

Improving productivity

An efficient Human Resources perspective on design is to maximize the output of human capital, to make the best use of the available skills and aptitudes.

Changing the distribution of areas to facilitate efficiency and even enhance the work dynamics through new environments adapted to the COVID-19 situation can also be a driver of change.

For example, activity-based workspaces, where employees are free to move to different areas, have been shown to boost productivity.

In this type of space, it is possible to have different kinds of furniture for specific purposes. For example, individual workstations with excellent isolation for concentration, interconnected modular units for more efficient collaborative work, and comfortable lounges for relaxing or working on creative tasks; are some of the variants that have demonstrated great efficiency in top-level firms.

Safety with COVID-19

In HR, it is always essential to ensure the integrity and well-being of workers. The definition of suitable and reliable spaces for the new normal environment is one of the driving factors in office remodeling and transformation.

According to recent studies by Thrive Global, the sense of well-being has become one of today's workers’ priority concerns, which is vital to consider when analyzing different office design ideas.

Safer facilities will calm the fears of staff members and will encourage a better performance of their functions.  Simply by implementing furniture accessories to enforce social distancing or promote sanitary practices, you will foster an environment of health and show workers that management takes their well-being into account.

Destress the office 

Another of HR’s fundamental principles to maintain a healthy work environment is reducing the stress on the workforce.

No machine can operate at 100% efficiency all the time.  This also includes staff who need to recuperate. Creating recreational environments to relieve tensions and facilitating communication channels are also beneficial to protect an optimal environment for office work.

By allowing a break from high output-oriented work, a company can enhance their staff’s mood and happiness and reduce turnover.

The importance of autonomy

In recent years, another human resource’s priority has been the orientation to strengthen workers’ freedom and autonomy.

This is not only a factor of efficiency, by allowing less supervision and obstacles, but workers, feeling free, perceive themselves as a more valuable member, who is appreciated for their work and personal qualities, as well as for their ability to respond to challenges and expectations.

Equipping offices with all needed equipment for any worker to allow workers to do their job and enhance their output will foster better personal and business growth.

Modern filing cabinets to keep relevant documentation within reach or having cabinets or modular stations with space to store all the essential tools are some of the office design ideas to take into account.

Consider the investment

It is imperative that a company take the full cost of new furniture, including its maintenance and durability into account, and conduct a complete cost-benefit analysis.

When evaluating different office design ideas, it is essential to consider the form and the quality of the furniture.

This is important from the outset, regarding the warranty and durability of the furniture itself; but also the fact of taking care of the staff’s integrity, it is also a better investment in the long run.

For example, opting for ergonomic seating is an excellent way to avoid future medical expenses and maintain comfort and performance even during long working hours.

Fostering a sense of belonging

According to a recent study by BetterUp, on average, employee productivity increases by 56% when there is a strong sense of belonging to the company.

Feeling fully identified with the company also strengthens commitment and determination and can multiply human resources’ capacity.

Thanks to creating attractive work environments, some companies have achieved this, which are also dynamic to adapt to different conditions and needs. Use your brand and corporate vision to mark every aspect of your office.  Companies like Airbnb have successfully applied through their offices’ design by having their HQ reflect the services they provide.

Another office design idea applied is installing motifs that encourage the sense of belonging through greater integration, customization capacity and reiterate the corporate feeling and objectives.

Now that we have explored an HR perspective, you should feel free to explore other office design perspectives.  Inspiration can come from anywhere, but a word of advice, listen to your staff and the departments of your company.