Effective workplace design isn’t random. It isn’t born out of thin air. It does not come about simply by throwing a few pieces of office furniture together and calling it a day. You won’t get there, effectively, by starting at the end, or the middle for that matter.
All workable workplace designs start with a purpose. It needs to have a reason for coming into existence. It needs to be able to accomplish things to make the business better. It needs to answer the questions; why am I here, what do I need to do for you, and how? Without asking the right questions, one cannot expect to generate the best answers.
For example, many people view office furniture as a necessary evil, something their business needs to operate. With that in mind, they seek to find pieces of furniture they imagine will look nice in their space. When that’s done, their job is done.
Good workplace design is more than a pretty face (a piece of furniture) sitting in the corner of a room, or even out in the open, for that matter. The optimum reason for good workplace design is “to make the business better.” To do that, we must begin with that in mind.
Beginning with the end in mind is intentional. It’s thought with an intended outcome. Its purpose? To get to the purpose, you must first ask the questions that need answering. Here are a few examples–When people are in my space, what do I want them to think? How do I want them to feel? How can I improve the function or flow of the work that needs to be done in this space? Making an impression on people is one thing, but impressing upon them the value of what you do for them is another. What kind of energy do I want to create in the space? What story do I want to talk about my company, and how?
Asking and answering how I can make my business better by this workplace design will give you a purpose to employ, rather than doing it randomly. Asking and answering the questions no one else is considering is the way of separating your company, wheat, from the shaft; it’s the starting place for effective workplace design.
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