In the past two years, daily office operations have changed dramatically. We once designed office real estate to account for all employees to be in the office five days a week, and optimized space to fit the most seats. Today, we look at things a little differently. How can we study employee behaviors and trends to better inform workplace decisions–especially when it comes to designing spaces?
Lenny Beaudoin, executive managing director and global head of workplace and design at CBRE was recently quoted in a Fortune article stating, “If most of your meetings are three to four people, and most of your conference rooms are eight-to-10 capacity, you’ve ineffectively designed the space for what people are actually using.” In this example, employers need to look at their spaces and how they can be transformed to better support hybrid work, a clear trend that has emerged from the pandemic. The key to creating a work environment that is efficient and works for your team is by bridging employee data with design to unlock insights.
In a 2019 Capital One study, the research found that 90% of office professionals agree that they perform their jobs better in workspaces that are well-designed. What does a well-designed workplace look like? Design elements like natural light and adaptable spaces are key, as is flexibility. 71% of employees agree it’s important for their company’s workplace design to be flexible and 73% say they are able to work better when they have access to flexible furniture arrangements, like alternative desks. By studying new employee behaviors, we can re-envision how space works. In the example above, it makes sense to reconfigure conference spaces to support less in-person participation and more conference calls with audio and visual technology. Or, perhaps employees prefer more shared work environments, so when they are in the office, they can use their time wisely, collaborating with others and sparking new innovations. These are just some suggestions on how the workplace can be designed to better support your team’s new way of working. The key is to design for your culture, brand, and people by leveraging important employee data.
Through the Kolar Experience Institute™ (KEI), Employers can leverage key data about their teams and how they work using proprietary research methods focused on exploring the intersection of people, process, and place to unveil solutions that make a positive impact. KEI unlocks the ideas and solutions of industry thought leaders, researchers, design thinkers, architects, designers, and business leaders to make a greater impact with our clients and communities. With our partners, we focus on developing deeper connections and help to advance organizations and economic development.
No matter your industry, studying workplace and employee insights is key to making well-informed decisions about your work environment. To learn more about KEI and the unique services we offer, visit here.