How Office Neighborhoods Improve the Workplace Experience
How To Improve the Workplace Experience with Office Neighborhoods
The demands of the modern workplace are rapidly changing, and employees value a great workplace experience that fits their needs. One way to improve the workspace experience is by implementing office neighborhoods. This concept has exploded in popularity in recent years and for good reason. It gives employees a more comfortable, productive and creatively stimulating work environment. Of course, this means greater employee satisfaction and employee retention as a natural side effect.
But what are office neighborhoods, and how can you incorporate them into your office space? Read on to find out.
What Are Office Neighborhoods?
Office neighborhoods are an office design trend that allows employees to be more flexible with how and where they work. This is achieved by incorporating flexible workspaces in your office. This is usually a combination of meeting spaces, hot desks, quiet zones, shared spaces, break areas and other spaces that fit the needs of your employees. There are several types of office neighborhoods, but the primary intention is to create an office space that allows employees to choose the style of work that fits them best,
Essentially, you create several “neighborhoods” in your office that are defined by the type of work that can happen in those areas. For example, a shared space with connected desks could be used by a UX designer, copywriter and project manager who are working on a project together. Another example is a space that facilitates quiet, focused work where a programmer can buckle down and code without interruption.
With office neighborhoods in place, your employees will have a dynamic, comfortable and collaborative work environment that allows them to work how they need to at any given time.
Why Do They Matter?
Office neighborhoods are becoming increasingly popular in modern workplaces. But why? In short, it creates a more enjoyable work environment for employees that also increases productivity. It’s a win-win situation. By implementing an office neighborhood strategy, employers can tailor office space to the needs of employees rather than wasting space.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits employees, and employers get from office neighborhoods.
What Are the Benefits?
Office neighborhoods have the potential to benefit employers and employees in many ways, including:
- Improved employee satisfaction and engagement — Employees want to be comfortable in their work environment. Office neighborhoods create stimulating offices that keep employees engaged. When the needs of your employees are being considered and met, employee satisfaction inevitably improves.
- Improved collaboration — Office neighborhoods naturally lead to more collaboration and a sense of community amongst your employees. Since employees can more easily work near team members they work with regularly, you get better communication and more ideas shared. This can help employees feel more connected to their co-workers and enjoy their time at work.
- Improved office space utilization — Office neighborhoods cut down on wasted square footage. By implementing different kinds of working spaces, your employees will be more likely to move around the office throughout the day and utilize these spaces.
- Increased Productivity — When employees can work the way they want and easily collaborate with co-workers, you get a more productive team.
- Employee Retention — When employees know that their company wants to foster their work style and give them a comfortable place to work, they’ll feel more loyal to the company. This means less turnover for employers and top employees will stick around longer.
The core goal of office neighborhoods is to foster different work styles and make it easier for employees to be productive. There are different ways to achieve this goal, and the type of office neighborhood you implement can make a difference. Let’s take a brief look at the different types of office neighborhoods.
- Team-oriented neighborhoods — These office neighborhoods are centered around putting teams together and giving them the amenities they need to succeed. For instance, the HR team might have its own neighborhood while the marketing team has another. This type of neighborhood intends to build out spaces that specifically benefit the needs of specialized teams.
- Task-oriented neighborhoods — In a task-oriented office neighborhood, you build out spaces to suit certain tasks. For example, you build a neighborhood for brainstorming and collaboration or a neighborhood for quiet work.
- Open neighborhoods — This is a more free-form method that provides multiple open spaces that don’t have to be booked in advance. Similar to the task-oriented neighborhood, these should foster specific working styles. It’s also best to mix in some hot desking and reservable spaces to keep things organized.
You don’t always have to adhere closely to one specific type of office neighborhood. Sometimes a mix of ideas might work best for your team. The important thing is to consider the needs of your employees and integrate those needs into your office design.
How To Implement Office Neighborhoods
Implementing an office neighborhood requires planning and strategy to ensure you build out spaces that work best for your employees.
To create a flexible and adaptable space, consider the needs of your teams and your employees. Identify how much space they need for collaborative workstations, meeting rooms, quiet spaces and other types of spaces. Once you’ve decided what spaces your employees need, you can start reorienting your office space to fit these needs.
Once you’ve reoriented your space, it’s important to get feedback from employees. This way you can improve your office neighborhood and amenities the way your employees prefer to use them.
To make the implementation process as seamless as possible, it can be helpful to use technology. The software can help you get metrics and insights into your office neighborhood. For example, room scheduling and hot desk software can help you learn what spaces are getting the most use. This way you can adjust your neighborhood as necessary.
Office neighborhoods are becoming the norm for modern, employee-friendly companies. Some examples of major companies using office neighborhoods include:
- Slack — Slack uses an open office plan with several different floors for different spaces and work styles. Employees can book workspaces and meeting rooms on different floors and utilize the spaces that work best for them.
- Google — Google’s Chicago office utilizes cross-functional layouts to foster collaboration and teamwork. This helps Google employees find areas to work that they prefer and improves creativity.
How To Use Hot Desking To Create Flexible Seating
A great way to improve your office neighborhood is with hot desk booking. Hot desking allows employees to book desks and workspaces. Here are some of the ways that hot desking helps create flexible seating:
- Employees can easily choose the desk they want remotely. This allows them to choose their workspace that makes them as productive as possible.
- Hot desking software like Eden allows you to designate certain areas to certain teams, so only those team members can book them
- Employees can filter amenities and book desks that work best for them
- Employers can get metrics to learn which desks and amenities are used most
Expert Tips To Improve the Employee Experience
Before wrapping up, let’s talk about some expert tips you can implement to improve the employee experience overall:
- Create an inviting space — Your office design should be collaborative, but it should also be inviting. You want your employees to feel comfortable in the office so work can be a more enjoyable environment. Furniture, artwork and other amenities can help make your office a more inviting place to be.
- Introduce team-building activities — Collaboration can happen naturally in an office neighborhood, but it also helps employers step in with some team-building. Team building can help employees learn more about each other and get more comfortable collaborating.
- Make sure there are amenities — Provide your employees with plenty of amenities. Things like coffee bars, kitchens and break rooms can make the work experience better.
- Implement hot desk booking — As mentioned, software for hot desk booking is a great way for employees to book the space they need. It can also help employers learn more about the workspaces and amenities employees prefer.
- Use room scheduling software — Room scheduling software allows employees to book meeting spaces without causing scheduling conflicts or double-booking. This is a great way to ensure your office space is being used to its maximum potential.
Learn More with Eden
If you’re looking to improve the employee experience and implement an office neighborhood, workplace management software is a great tool to help. Eden is a workplace management solution that offers tools for hot desk booking, room scheduling, visitor management and much more. Book a demo today to find out how Eden can improve your office.