Are you using your office space smartly?
Space is a wonderful tool to help create an atmosphere that is pleasant, bright and relaxing to be in. A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers found that employees who liked their office environment were likely to be 31% more satisfied in their jobs than individuals who did not. A pleasant office environment is more than just open space though, there are many things to consider.
Layout is as important as space
Layout is as important as space, so considering the office layout to allow people to move freely, comfortably and efficiently can yield tangible results. If you are in the process of putting a call centre together, pay special attention to the layout of the space, and the needs of your employees. An area to relax in has become common practice in numerous offices across the globe, and for good reason.
Provide your people with an area for lunch, socialising and just relaxing, either in between shifts, during lunch and tea breaks. Ensure the area is inviting and that people want to spend time there, together. This is even more essential once we delve into why these areas are so important.
Do these spaces really matter?
So why then are these areas so vital to the success of an office space? Simply put, particularly in the case of a contact centre, the staff will spend most of their day looking at a screen, or two, with a headset on while focused on the customer on the other end of the line, or chat.
This creates a barrier between co-workers, as each person will essentially be operating in their own bubble. While this is completely acceptable, it’s up to employers to provide staff with a means to mingle, get to know each other and nurture relationships.
Keep the team in mind when designing these areas
Be sure to create these spaces conscious of the fact that they should not feel like the office, at all. Different colours, furniture and finishings are the quickest ways to differentiate the “work” space, from the “recreational” space, and although superficial, the distinction is essential.
According to Entrepreneur Mag these spaces can fulfil a variety of functions. Carefully consider what to put into these spaces, as the amenities can include coffee machines, a gym, comfortable couches, games rooms and even restaurants or cafeterias. Creating a home away from home for staff members is a great way to motivate your team, and if you create a homely environment, a family dynamic can form on the back of it.
Again, a happy workforce makes for happy customers.
If your call centre currently has rows and rows of people and cubicles, perhaps it’s time for a reevaluation of the layout and equipment the team is using. Aim to create a space that doesn’t isolate individuals, provide them with technology to support and assist customers, and create an environment that inspires and maximises the staff’s productivity. Design trends are definitely moving towards open spaces and inclusive areas, so islands of desks (perhaps of individual teams within the bigger team) all facing each other without any partitions are where office design is going.
It’s as good a time as any to evaluate the utilisation of your team’s space.