The role of employee experience in modern office design

It will come as no surprise to know that happy employees produce the best work. They’re more motivated and focused on achieving better results for their employers. Multiple studies support this theory. For example, an Oxford University survey found that “happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy employees”. Obviously, many factors come into play when considering how to create happy employees. Workloads, holiday allowance, office culture, pay and the like. But while all these elements are specific to individual companies, a common thread can be optimised to increase happiness – office design.

Whether redesigning a current space or moving into a new location, the employee experience should be paramount to any design decisions. It’s a growing priority we’re seeing for clients throughout the UAE – from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah and everywhere in between. But it’s also a global phenomenon that shows that workplaces must consider employee needs for future projects.

Individual needs and wants require innovative solutions. It’s no longer enough to provide a functional place to work for employees – a new office space should be somewhere they can thrive. This is where workplace consultancies become a sound investment. Our expertise in designing an environment that employees will love is invaluable, so you can make the most of any space.

Being happy at work goes far beyond the usual platitudes of a pool table, coffee machine and a games console that’s rarely touched. Employees can spot a forced office culture in seconds. This is why the following has become a positive focus for employers who want to design exceptional, staff-orientated offices:

Flexible workspaces

Each individual will have their preferred way of working to be most productive. It might be in an open-plan environment or tucked away in a soundproof pod. This could be something as simple as workstations placed near windows to inspire creativity within the staff. Flexibility also includes elements of the hybrid work model. Those who sometimes work remotely will be much happier knowing they can seamlessly fit back into the office, should they need to.

A touch of nature

There’s a definite increase in offices bringing the outdoors inside. Biophilic designs that use natural elements and materials have been proven to reduce stress levels and increase the well-being of individuals, too.

Integrated technologies

Using “smart office” tech is a way to deliver a future-proofed space. This diverse set of gadgets can include occupancy sensors for optimising the use of rooms, smart lighting to keep the office at a comfortable brightness and automated climate control. Something as simple as integrated charging stations for employees’ devices can go a long way.

Well-being focus

Though it goes without saying, offices catering to employees’ positive physical and mental state will make them much happier. Wellness spaces that use acoustic-dampening materials are a perfect spot to escape when concentration is needed. Integrated gym and fitness areas also showcase the employer’s dedication to the person, not just the employee. Even a specific zone for collaboration amongst co-workers can positively affect staff morale.

This is just a tiny sample of employee-centric design choices. Every client will have bespoke needs, but considering the above will set them off on the correct path.

There are many benefits of creating a workplace that chimes with its staff. Job satisfaction leads to employee retention, which means businesses no longer need to spend money hiring and training new staff. It also gives a company a reputation as a great place to work. So, when it comes time to secure top talent or even gain new business clients, a solid rep will put them above the competition.

Finally, involving the employees in any design and build project increases your chances of delivering a space where exceptional work is done daily. Staff are motivated and more likely to serve up creative and valuable work rather than simply clocking in and out without any desire to contribute to a lifeless workplace. The road to happy staff can be full of twists and turns, but as long as the workplace allows employees to feel valued, they’re well on their way to success.