What is the Importance of a Good Office Environment for Employees?

Building contractors naturally place slightly more emphasis on function than form. They want to create highly functional structures that meet the industrial specifications of the project. That’s why, at SCAPE, our commercial designers are often asked why we choose to work a little differently; why we give form as much priority as function.

The answer is simple.

We believe that the role of construction firms and designers isn’t to build structures, but to create environments that work. And environments that work are those that ensure the people in these environments can achieve what they need to, whether they’re there to live, work, learn, or play. That not only means constructing with precision, but creating a powerful interior setting, too.

And so, when we’re tasked with designing and building a new office block – or refurbishing an existing office building – every decision we make is shaped by the need to develop and fit out an environment that works.

And that’s what today’s businesses are looking for. Take Kinto, for example. Kinto wanted to create a more social and connected space, which shaped our construction decisions from the very start and empowered us to create a modern work environment with distinct ‘zones’ to generate a healthy balance between productivity and comfort.

But here are the big questions: Why do we do this? Why do we choose to work in such a way? Ultimately, why is a good office environment so vitally important for employees?

There has actually been quite a lot of research done into the impact of an office environment on employee productivity, satisfaction, and wellbeing, and it’s generally agreed that the working environment can have much more influence than we think.

Environmental aspects that can impact employees include:

Environmental aspects that can impact employees include:

Temperature

Studies have found that the ability to maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature throughout an office space can boost employee productivity by 5 to 15% because workers feel better able to concentrate on their tasks. Where possible, we try to ensure that offices are equipped with suitable fresh air and air conditioning systems, like the innovative mechanical ventilation systems we installed at Fleetsbridge House.

Lighting

Good lighting in an office environment can make or break productivity. In a study of British employees, three quarters said that the lighting level at work can have a big impact on their ability to do their job. Our design and construction planning activities are always built around a desire to maximise the flow of natural daylight into interior spaces, and ensure that all work zones and meeting rooms have adequate lighting.

Noise

We all know that noise can be distracting, but it can also make it difficult for employees to retain information, concentrate, and complete their tasks to the best of their ability. When we’re tasked with creating open plan office environments – like the offices at Tagus House in Southampton – we ensure that our clients understand the importance of incorporation sectioned meeting spaces to create quiet zones for ‘heads down’ work.

Interior Design

This is the cherry on top. By that, we mean that good interior design isn’t essential to building a good environment, but it can massively enhance the employee experience. While this side of things is often left to our friends at interior fit out companies, we regularly work to incorporate attractive elements into the heart of construction and refurbishments, such as new feature joinery, eye-catching partitions, and landscaping.

A Good Office Environment is More Important Than Ever

The pandemic has had a massive effect on employees, including changing their feelings about their jobs, where they work, their employer and their experience.

As uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy starts to level off, experts are predicting never before seen rates of staff turnover as employees search for new opportunities. And so, now, more than ever, ensuring you’re giving your workers the best possible experience is essential. A refurbishment to make the employee experience a central part of office design can play a key role in caring for your team.

Scape - Built to Work