How to make Office Layouts more Effective with Communal Spaces

A working adult may spend as much as a third of his life working. Employers would also want that working hours of staff are spent productively and at high performance levels. In fact, any forward-looking business or organization would always look for ways and means to offer a conducive office environment to their workforce where work gets done quick and with efficiency.

Providing a space to work, think, and collaborate effectively is key, Office layouts that embody communal spaces and provide mobility options are set to thrive in the current times that we live in. So, think about purpose-driven Communal Spaces when planning and designing your office layout. And creating such a space at the workplace correctly with an experience ID Consultant can pay off in many different ways.

Lets deep dive and understand how best this can be achieved…

Office Space Planning

Planning the layout for your office is unique to the type of business and its employees. Corporates and MNCs are embracing flexible working, ergonomics and workforce mobility with increased fervour and zeal. A lot of importance is being made on communal areas and for the right reasons. Collaborative space for stand-up meetings and common areas indoors for staff to take a break or spark conversations are becoming the norm.

Such spaces are now seen as an essential part of office design. With Wi-Fi, laptops, mobile devices, and charging stations becoming prevalent, people can freely move around the office and discuss projects/tasks with colleagues. Thus, these communal areas are becoming popular spaces for employees to collaborate and interact socially with others.

 

Defining Communal Spaces and their Accessibility

Communal spaces are spaces shared by multiple people in an organisation. They must be easily  accessible to strategically support and keep employees productive. Communal spaces should be setup in an ideal location where communication between departments can easily take place. Thereby offering a venue for impromptu meetings, communication among employees and areas to rest and energize. Chic furniture with lounge chairs, bean bags and the like will help make the space functional and collaboration friendly.

common space in office

 

Basic Types of Communal Spaces

Space is always a luxury in bustling cities like Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.  And in the central business districts it will be even more so. Having purpose-built spaces for social interaction and engagement may come at a premium. So how can an office for a SME or a small busines incorporate Communal Space? Well, it is not that difficult after all….

Let’s find out with these common examples –

Lobby

The lobby is the first thing an employee or client sees when he enters the office. Designing a lobby to make it appeal to both parties is equally important. The lobby can also be a place for employees to have impromptu meetings when meeting rooms are occupied. A quiet area with comfortable chairs and industry books for reading and research keeps clients/visitors occupied while waiting and also adds value to the staff.

Meeting Rooms

Meeting rooms can also be multi purposed. While offices in prime locations like KLCC or KL Sentral may not have the luxury of space to include gaming room, pool table and other types of recreational facilities. Having a meeting room that can be converted into a game room is one option.

Pantry

To most of us, the workplace is like a second home. And a well-stocked pantry with basic equipment to prepare a tasty snack for refuelling and recharging your batteries is crucial to any business.  Not only is it a place for employees to unwind and take a break from their work, it’s also a place for colleagues to mingle and exchange ideas, hence forming better work relations. Installing both seating and standing desks together with other funky furniture mixes both pleasure and work.

Washroom

They say that the best ideas come when one is in the toilet! This is no joke. You would be surprised by the amount of time one spends in the washroom especially when colleagues are spotted there! It is no wonder why many businesses take advantage of this basic necessity as a communal space. Keeping a communal wall outside the washroom where employees can brainstorm or write down spontaneous ideas encourages creative thinking.

 

In Summary

The above post has described how the design of your office plays a big role in the productivity of your employees. Research also shows that workplace design influences health, well-being, employee satisfaction and performance.  Increasing engagement and collaboration at your workplace through Communal Spaces will not be a huge investment but can certainly influence business performance.