The anatomy of an optimised office space - Chichester House
Causeway Asset Management

The anatomy of an optimised office space

Posted 05/10/2018 by Causeway Asset Management,

Employee satisfaction and happiness are essential aspects involved maximising productivity in the workplace. There are numerous factors within an office environment that can be harnessed to provide improved employee satisfaction that in turn improve productivity. At Chichester House, we understand the importance of enabling organisations to create optimised, stimulating spaces that assist in maximising employee satisfaction in the working environment. Our Future-Fit Space concept guarantees occupants smart monitoring, plug & play supplies, high speed internet, 360° controls and adaptable layouts; all with a view to tenant organisations successfully engaging with employees through agile spaces that enhance staff performance. Let’s take a look at a number of other ways in which modern employers are currently optimising office environments to get the best out of their employees.


A Varied Layout

Within a work space, an assortment of layouts can empower employees to choose the most suitable space for their task at hand. This not only offers flexibility but helps make the working day more varied, and interesting. Quiet breakout areas, private meeting rooms, collaboration zones and team work areas can improve interaction and promote creativity while they can be tailored and utilised for a mix of projects and various types of work. The more inflexible and uncompromising an office’s layout is, the more uninspired staff can become.


Spaces for Down Time

Dedicated spaces for relaxation and down time are an important factor for ensuring ongoing productivity. The modern employee is no longer expected to work non-stop throughout the day and is encouraged to take the requisite breaks to recharge when needed. These periods of relaxation can be made even more comfortable by creating areas with optimum levels of natural light, and providing relaxed seating such as sofas, armchairs and recliners for a more informal feel. These relaxation areas can also help to inspire creativity, so it’s important to incorporate some entertainment and amusement; many digital companies wouldn’t be without be without gaming consoles, music or an air hockey table to encourage downtime interaction between staff.


Next Level Technology

Ensuring access to a range of devices such as touchscreen tablets, mobile devices, standalone screens and monitors mean that data is readily available throughout a building for employees to utilise and implement as required. For many companies providing  employees with access to premium tech products from Apple, Google and Samsung, on site, when required for work or downtime makes employees feel like they are appreciated and valued in the workplace.


A Digitally Connected Hub

High speed wi-fi in the office enables employees to remain connected and productive throughout the working day and studies have shown that as we become more connected with IoT (Internet Of Things) access to super-fast wi-fi for employees isn’t just desirable but often essential.

Belfast offers superfast and ultrafast broadband, widely available throughout the city with a 100 gigabyte per second telecoms link between Northern Ireland, Europe and North America. The city has the highest availability of superfast broadband and fastest 4G download speeds in the UK. Causeway’s Future-Fit office buildings are designed to maximise access to these data networks through WiredScore Certified infrastructure, a connectivity benchmark that is fast becoming a global standard.


Flexible, Adaptable, Optimised Office Space

Many offices now adopt an open plan working environment where there are very few office walls diving employees from their colleagues. It is argued this leads to increased happiness as people can work together and discuss ideas, allowing social interaction and making people feel less isolated. An open plan office also gives new employees the opportunity to become familiar with their colleagues and learn more about the team they are working in.

But what about private meetings? Many companies are now creating ‘pods’ that provide privacy and are often movable around an office space dependant on their requirement. Additionally moving walls allow space to be shaped to the requirement for that day, week or month without becoming a permanent fixture.


Light and Colour

Optimising layout to take advantage of natural light sources doesn’t just help during downtime. As most employees spend a considerable amount of their day indoors, having natural light in the working parts of an office can help staff feel more alert and connected to the outside world. In fact, one study by the U.S. Green Building Advisory Council found that employees with optimised daylight exposure experienced a 2% increase in productivity. In addition, employees can benefit from a better quality of sleep, making them more prepared for the day ahead.

It is also well known that colours have differing psychological effects companies can use this for the benefit of employees when it comes to designing an optimised office space. By using the right colours in the right space, it is possible to create a suitable atmosphere for that area dependant on the use. For example, blue is commonly accepted as one of the most productive colours. Experimenting with a palette of the most suitable colours in the right spaces can help employees become more productive in the workplace.


Temperature and Ventilation

Temperatures that are too extreme; too hot or too cold can be a distraction to employees and lead to the development of a negative experience of the workplace. Having the right combination of temperature, humidity and airflow is essential to enable people to feel comfortable. The ideal office temperature for productivity is 22° Celsius according to the Helsinki University of Technology.


Networking and Connecting

Productivity can be enhanced by giving employees opportunities to share ideas and inspire each other. Additionally connecting with similar minded people in other departments within their own organisation and interaction with peers in other companies can help employees learn new skills and tools to help them in their role.

Northern Ireland is an excellent location for networking and building connections as over 900 international companies have invested in Northern Ireland to date. Within Belfast specifically, companies range from global legal corporations as well as FinTech, accounting and cyber security firms. Not only that, Belfast was awarded Europe’s most Business-Friendly city of its size by FT fDi Global Cities of the Future 2015.

If your organisation is searching for a new European city to call home and some accompanying optimised office space, consider the vibrant and smart surroundings of Chichester House. Chichester House provides 46,000 sq ft of Future-Fit, premium office space and 5,000 sq ft of premium retail accommodation in the heart of Belfast’s central business district.

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