As commercial interior designers, it’s our job to stay up-to-date on workplace trends. We cherish highly functional, great looking, professional environments – with client satisfaction as our highest priority. With the emergence of the open office environment and shared workspace model, it’s crucial for us to be considerate of the various job descriptions that exist within the market, as well as the types of people who fill these jobs.
The open office model requires that we understand the needs of both introverted and extroverted employees and consider how to support the functional and spatial requirements of our clients. Here are our top tips for designing an office environment for both introverts and extroverts:
Do Your Research
Before designing a new office space, ask your team what they want in a work environment. There isn’t formula for the perfect workplace, but you can involve your team in the process and learn what works best for your specific employees. If you find that you have an equal amount of introverts as extroverts working for you, ensure that you prioritize the right ratio of collaborative community spaces with private quiet zones.
There are several types of jobs at any given company, and each person in these jobs may require a different type of setting. Create a variety of office spaces by incorporating quiet within collaborative areas:
- Scatter smaller, private rooms throughout open work zones to allow 1-to-1 meetings or phone calls.
- Ensure that meeting rooms and break rooms are centrally located between private office spaces and open work areas in order to foster interaction between teams.
- Provide enough private workspace for those jobs that require concentration and focus a majority of the time.
Spending time outdoors and interacting with nature can decrease stress levels and recharge energy in the middle of a workday. Strive to provide your team with access to nature in the workplace and consider incorporating the following into your office design:
- Living plant wall.
- Plants scattered throughout the building.
- Outdoor community garden.
- Natural light in collaborative work spaces and private offices.
Be Mindful of Acoustics
Open work spaces can often get noisy and distracting, and working in large collaborative groups can be exhausting for some people. Look for ways to control noise with acoustic panels, carpet, cork flooring or other textile covered partitions throughout your office space. Strive for that variety of work stations, and ensure you are offering your more introverted employees plenty of semi-private places to work that are quiet and best used for individual work or private conversations.
By designing spaces that incorporate employee input and empower your team to successfully perform their jobs, you will increase the productivity and happiness levels of your company. As the open work space trend continues to evolve, we are confident that there are ways to support the requirements of all of your employees, while creating a collaborative and thoughtfully designed workplace.
Questions, ideas, comments? We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us here, we look forward to meeting you.