There are proven benefits to providing those extra creature comforts in your workplace to help make your teams feel at home.

Second to the home, the workplace is the most commonplace for us to spend our time, but for many that space is imposed upon them, providing a one-size-fits-all location for all people to accomplish all tasks. It’s no surprise that people are starting to hit back at open-plan office design and choosing to take advantage of mobile technologies that allow them to work remotely and from home.

Whilst studies have shown that working from home can boost productivity or make employees happier, some may argue that it may actually inhibit collaboration, learning and sharing of ideas.

Whilst we haven't had a choice with remote working during the pandemic, we look at the benefits of making the workplace that little bit more homely.

A Space for Everything

The home is made up of a series of spaces designed for specific activities. You wouldn't cook your dinner in the bedroom or sleep in the bathroom. Similarly, the office should be designed to accommodate quiet spaces for independent working, open spaces for interaction, break out spaces for people to take a break or have an informal meeting that doesn't interrupt others.

Also, not everyone wants to work at a desk. How many people prefer to curl up on a sofa when working from home rather than sit at a desk or table? This ‘Activity-Based Working’ approach provides people with a variety of workspaces so they can choose the environment that best suits their task or mood, thus helping them to be more productive. And by providing choice and autonomy over their work, people will be happier, more engaged and consequently, more productive.

office design with flat screen TV intelligent use of space

Let There Be Light

There is no doubt that access to natural light in the workplace benefits not only work but also employee wellbeing. We need only look to a typical British home to understand the importance of natural light to people. We would rarely choose to have a living space in the home without access to daylight – so why should the workplace be any different?

office interior design with natural light

The Heart of the Workplace

The kitchen has traditionally been viewed as the ‘heart of the home’ but now it’s increasingly being viewed as the heart of the workplace. They say people come together over food, and having a communal space to prepare and eat food encourages relationships, collaboration and serendipitous interactions. These in turn can all help to fuel ideas and innovations – a valuable commodity in the modern business world. It is also a place to work away from your primary workspace and to refuel your body and mind. It is important to remember that when you rest your mind, concentration is improved and creativity can flourish.

comunal space at the heart of office fit out

A Softer Touch

Office design is about more than just desk space and floor plans, and we are seeing a growing trend for offices designed with a more homely feel. Break out spaces now have comfy sofas, cool rugs, cushions and soft lighting. By creating a more comfortable, ‘homey’ space at work you can replicate the benefits of being at home whilst bringing people into the office.

Office designed with comfy break out space

Financial Benefits – The Bottom Line

The two biggest cost centres for any businesses are people and property. Attracting the very best talent is critical to overall success and increasingly we are seeing office spaces being used as a tool to attract and retain this talent. People want to work in a nice environment with the best available tools to complete their work so investing to create a space where people want to work can reap dividends.
This can lead to greater staff retention that will not only lessen recruitment costs but may also lead to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and the development of a reputation as a great place to work, making it easier to recruit.

Billiard table in office design ideas

There are a lot of things the home can teach us about office design but the main lesson is of choice. When people can choose their homes and surroundings they will be happier, more satisfied, and want to spend time there. And the workplace is the same. If you give people the opportunity to work in a comfortable, flexible space of their choosing, you can create a positive, productive workplace for everyone.