Why Office Design Matters for Your Business

When a company is trying its best to survive challenging economic conditions such as those created by a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, how important is office design, really? Shouldn’t companies be focused on function over fashion? Will office design really be a critical part of surviving these trying times?

Actually, yes, office design is critical. It’s never been more important to get the right office designs and plans and create an ideal working environment. Here are some of the most important reasons why that’s the case.

1. Offices Have to Entice People Back from Home

Remote working, working from home, or at least a much greater sense of flexibility is something that many Australians have said they want after the pandemic is over. A new spirit of leaving the office has taken hold, and that has some advantages for business, but it doesn’t change the fact that actually companies and individual workers do need a proper working base like an office. The fantasy of working from home isn’t something that works for everyone, or even the majority of people.

Creating an attractive, refreshed and appealing office with comfortable modern designs, ergonomic furniture, and a focus on staff well-being is one that will bring back those tired and stressed workers from home and get them back to a sense of normality and balance again. Even if it’s in a hybrid model with more working from home, creating an office people want to come will only benefit your business in the long run.

2. It Impresses (Or Doesn’t) Customers

You might think it’s shallow for someone to judge the worth of a company and doing business with that company based on the condition of their office, but it’s the reality that most companies deal with day to day. Your existing and prospective new clients are both judging your company based on the state of your office, and that’s why design really matters. 

It doesn’t require multi-million dollar refurbishments, but just getting the basics right like attractive furniture, a comfortable and welcoming reception area, lots of natural light, inclusion of plants and/or flowers, and the addition of spaces that workers can use for collaboration, and others for rest and recreation. To a client, a company that treats its people to a nice work environment is one worth doing business with.

3. It Impresses New Talent

Besides trying to get your existing workforce back to the office, you also need an environment that will attract new talent to work there. Young people are wary of working for others in office jobs. Many would rather try their hand at starting their own businesses, but if you offer them the right kind of environment, you can persuade them to join your team. A well-designed office should be the centrepiece of your website, allowing prospective talent — who will Google your company to get a glimpse of what it’s like — to see the best of what you have.

Don’t forget that both your current and former employees might review your company on sites like glassdoor.com. These often showcase comments about the working environment, so to maintain your reputation in the industry, it’s critical to have that well-designed and purpose-built space to keep people happy and feedback as positive as possible.

4. You and Your Team Spend At Least a Third of Your Time There

In a working week, at least a third of you and your team’s time is spent in that office, assuming people are there for 8 hours a day. If you allow a slapdash and/or dated design to be the defining features of your office, you’re likely going to see a rise in absenteeism, tardiness, and a general malaise among the team.

And why not? Who would want to commit as much of a third of their time to a place that’s designed with zero consideration for them?

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.