Workers’ engagement has become a hot topic lately, and for an important reason. Engagement has a direct influence on productivity, and thus, the company’s profits. Steelcase Global Reports showed that there is a positive correlation between workplace satisfaction and engagement. One of the multiple aspects that influences the workplace is office and desk layout. And that’s the main topic of this article.

Organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – Organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.

The office is an environment in which we spend the majority of our day, and so it plays a role in our productiveness, happiness, and engagement. To keep all the mentioned aspects as high as possible, we need to be comfortable and healthy, both body and mind, during our office hours.

For years, strict rules and micromanagement predominated (unfortunately, it still does in some companies). To increase the company’s output, people were cramped in the office to fit as many workers as possible. They were made to work long hours with very short brakes.

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – People are most effective when they spend time in a friendly environment and can be autonomous.

Many pieces of research done on this topic showed that these methods reduced the effectiveness of the process rather than profited it. The employees were actively disengaged, and in the end, the company’s profits suffered. People are most effective when they are not overworked, spend time in a friendly environment, and can be autonomous.

The statistics considering engagement and workplace

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – The statistics considering engagement and workplace

The following data is from the Steelcase Global Report, in which 12 480 participants from 17 countries took part. 

  • Workplace satisfaction has a positive correlation with engagement. 13% of global works are highly engaged and highly satisfied with their workplace. 11% are highly dissatisfied and highly disengaged. 29% is neither contented with their workplace nor dissatisfied. The results for Poland are incredibly close to these global results, with extreme values being identical and neutral slightly higher (31%).
  • Another surprising finding is that almost two-thirds of global employees work in either individual or shared private offices (60%). And only 33% work in an open plan, assigned space. Of course, 33% is still a significant number. However, it falls far below half and shows that open spaces are not as common as the media might suggest. A small portion of 8% work in a nomadic workplace.
  • As I mentioned before, polish engagement levels nearly mirror global norms; however polish employees scored last for being optimistic about the future with their company.
  • A new meta-analysis conducted by the Gallup Organisation on 1.4 million employees reported that organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.

What aspects make desk space ergonomic?

The screen monitor is a central element of the ergonomic workplace, so it should be placed at an appropriate position. A person can not forced to look down and the neck is not in any pain. The wrist should be lying comfortable, flat on a desk. The chair, we spend so much time in, needs to be curved to provide lumbar support. Generally, it should be soft and comfortable to avoid hipbone and back pain.

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – What aspects make desk space ergonomic?

All these aspects determine how ergonomic the desk layout is, which defines its comfort. Comfort seems like an irrelevant topic, but long-term, it’s crucial to maintain our health. Small aspects can determine whether we will suffer from any health problems in the future.

At WEBSENSA we provide the workplace with footrests, monitor risers (to ensure correct neck and wrist position), comfortable and adjustable chairs with lumbar support. Off course, employees have freedom of choice to arrange everything to perfectly fit their needs.

What factors decide on effectiveness of work office?

  • the location of the office 
  • room arrangement
  • furniture
  • supplies
  • equipment
  • natural lightning

Employees’ engagement highly correlates with office space layout. People are engaged when they’re given more control over their movement and can make independent decisions. Autonomy is not only determined by organisational decisions but also by the space available to them. When there are various work-rooms provided, emplyees’ engagement rises. It is because they can move between the rooms and choose their working surroundings.

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – Employees' engagement highly correlates with office space layout.

Fixed technology makes a poor choice in comparison with mobile tech. It ties the employee to their work desk for the entire day and prevents the flexibility described above. Our brain is not designed for multitasking. Staying focused on an activity requires energy, which we all know we have a limited source of. That is why it is so important to be able to even slightly change an environment and relax for a few minutes to recharge.

Office layout is effective when it also actively promotes collaboration between colleagues. It means has enough meeting and conference rooms. However, it should also provide a space for social, informal interactions.

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – Office layout is effective when it also actively promotes collaboration between colleagues.

At WEBSENSA – we realise that the office layout plays an essential factor in the engagement levels, so our workplace features a combination of open space, private offices, a chill room, a conference room, and a small, casual meeting room. Everyone is free to choose when and how they work. As we focus on teamwork, we have incorporated that aspect of our work culture into the layout of our workplace. Hence we grant multiple rooms for collaboration.

To ensure our employees’ well-being, our office layout contains:

  • rooms for the cooperation of small teams – with whiteboards to make the brainstorming smoother, technology to display presentations (or anything else that needs to be displayed), comfortable couches to create a relaxing and informal space
  • rooms for social & informal interactions – kitchen and our dining space that is also known to be a limitless coffee source and a ‘chill’ room.

Summary

Effective Office Layout – what should it look like? – To ensure our employees’ well-being, our office layout contains:

In conclusion, the office layout in WEBSENSA is an important factor affecting the comfort and satisfaction of our employees. Spaces with diverse functions cause that we like to spend time in the office – both working and socializing after work. Our employees often spend time together eating common meals at a large kitchen table or playing board games in a chillout room.

Friendly office space and a quite casual work atmosphere have a positive impact on employee productivity and the performance of the entire company. We also notice that once hired employees willingly stay with us for longer or even come back after some time;) Would you like to find out about it by yourself? Check our job offers.

References:

1. 360° Steelcase Global Report: Engagement and the Global Workplace

2. Sara Bean “Technology in the office failing to keep pace with the digital revolution”

3. Serena Borghero “The role of workplace design in employee engagement”