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    From Static to Strategic: Designing Workspaces That Drive Employee Productivity

    Post by CDI Spaces
    June 27, 2024
    From Static to Strategic: Designing Workspaces That Drive Employee Productivity

    Rigid workspaces are crumbling as the evolution of the office heads into new territory. Static furniture, assigned seating, and cold conference rooms are quickly being replaced with more flexible, intuitive, and supportive furniture for more dynamic workspaces that significantly improve employee engagement and experience. At the heart of recent developments is an understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach to workspace strategy and design hinders progress and damages productivity.

    Research shows that poorly designed indoor work environments cause an average 3% reduction in productivity. In this blog, we'll delve into proven and innovative strategies to help you create a productivity-boosting workspace tailored to your company's needs.

    Advanced Ergonomic Practices for Modern Workspaces

    Gone are the days when a standard office chair and desk were enough. Today, advanced ergonomic practices are at the forefront of creating productive work environments. Research shows that sitting or standing for too long can negatively impact employee well-being, with 2.3 million Canadian adults experiencing musculoskeletal diseases annually. These diseases cost $26 billion and can lead to long-term disabilities and other life and work-impacting challenges. 

    Advanced ergonomic solutions can mitigate these issues, leading to healthier employees and a more productive workforce. Desks that convert from sitting to standing are a simple way to transcend conventional office setups that keep employees locked into one posture all day. Flexible movement spaces further enrich the impact of modern ergonomic practices. Simple tools like fitness ball chairs, balance boards, and yoga mats for stretching can encourage employees to rejuvenate their bodies to reduce fatigue while modular privacy partitions and a strategic mix of open and secluded workspaces can help accommodate a variety of workstyles and ergonomic needs. 

    Psychological Benefits of Aesthetic Choices

    The aesthetics of any space are more than just looks. In an office, just as anywhere else that we sit—a restaurant, on a bus, in a home—we feel more drawn to some areas because of the way they make us feel. We naturally want to sit where we have a pleasant view, have space to move, and can create privacy or connection depending on our mood. 

    Color psychology can also impact how we engage with our environment and in turn, how productive we are within it. Each color you choose to add to your workspace can inspire different states of being and reinforce your values on a subtle level. Consider an accent wall or pop of color on the ceiling using red for excitement and energy, orange for bravery and social connection, yellow for creativity and warmth, green for fresh ideas and innovations, blue for competence and focus, or purple for ambition and elevation. 

    In an office space, implementing sleek storage solutions that keep employee belongings easily accessible yet tucked away can also enhance the environment and increase productivity by reducing distractions and clutter. 

    The Role of Quality and Sustainability in Furniture Selection

    A sense of familiarity and comfort in the office can turn a workspace into a creative and productive haven. High-quality, durable, and sustainable furniture can elevate the employee experience by eliminating minor nuisances and inconveniences. Choosing furniture that adjusts easily, incorporates tech and cord management, and performs consistently can lead to higher employee satisfaction and long-term productivity gains. 

    Office furniture waste adds up to approximately 8.5 million tons annually, which means sustainable furniture also has an environmental impact. When choosing furniture for your workspace, assess long-term and far-reaching costs. Consider the furniture lifecycle, how it will contribute to or compromise your employees' focus, and how it supports your social responsibility goals and values. Look for furniture that off-gasses fewer volatile chemicals and is constructed for reliability.

    Designing for Flexibility and Future Needs

    Many companies are still catching up with hybrid workstyles and, in the process, wondering, "Will the workspace evolution ever end?" In short, no, the workplace evolution isn't going anywhere! We recommend taking a proactive look at remaining flexible with your furniture, to stay ahead. 

    Predicting future workspace needs involves understanding where you are now and where you might be headed. Studying traffic within your office shows what spaces get the most—cluing you into current and developing trends so you can anticipate changes in your employee's work habits. This adaptability supports productivity and fosters a culture of innovation and agility.

    With modular and reconfigurable furniture, you can accommodate current needs and those that arise down the line. Transparent partitions can create quiet pods while giving employees a view of the office and outdoors—keeping them connected to their colleagues. A mix of hot desks, assigned desks, and collaborative workstations can provide employees with a level of autonomy that is proven to motivate employees—88% of employees who are highly engaged with their work say they have more control over their workspace.

    Engage Employees in the Furniture Selection Process

    There's nothing worse in an office redesign than installing new furniture only to find out it doesn't quite suit the employees who will be using it. This is why we always include employees in our furniture strategy process and strongly suggest you do too! 

    Preliminary surveys can help you determine what furniture options employees are most excited about when you start. Pilot testing areas offer hands-on experiences that employees can give tangible feedback on. Focus-group feedback sessions can also create intentional time and space for employees' voices to be heard. Combining these methods can turn your furniture strategy into a collaborative effort that meets everyone's productivity needs and goals. 

    Creating a productivity-boosting workspace while prioritizing employee health and well-being requires an approach that considers ergonomics, aesthetics, quality, sustainability, flexibility, and employee engagement. While this can seem like a lot of variables to consider, implementing proven strategies can help simplify the process. At CDI, we are committed to helping you discover furniture solutions that strengthen your company culture and enhance productivity in your workspace. 

    Meet with a CDI design consultant to take the first step toward transforming your office.


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