How to Create an Ideal Work Environment

How to create an ideal working environment feature

Picture the scene, it’s a Saturday afternoon, you’re walking around your local IKEA. Perhaps you’re looking for a new flatpack bookshelf or a light in the shape of a Panda. You’re surrounded by all of the pre-made office space models for you to walk in and ‘immerse yourself in the possibilities’. 

They’re all clean and tastefully decorated, they look okay, right? Now picture any co-working space you’ve ever been in or walked by on the street.

Besides the throngs of children running amok and the distinct odour of Swedish meatballs, there’s probably not all that much distinguishing the two spaces. So many co-working spaces in the field eschew any identity or expression, instead opting for soulless, cookie cutter spaces. 

Much like the IKEA prefab offices, these spaces may look clean, tidy, and professional, but they don’t harbour the creative thoughts that can help you and your business truly flourish and evolve. 

If you’ve been in one coworking space you probably feel like you’ve been in them all. Even when the concept of Use Space was still only in its infancy and the building that would go on to become our home was merely an old school building, we knew that we wanted to do things differently. As a result, we sculpted a unique, creative, energetic space purpose built for unique, creative, energetic people and businesses to thrive. 

In this blog we will discuss the importance of working in the perfect workspace, answer the question of ‘what is biophilic design’, as well as explain why we believe that Use Space stands out from the crowd.

Shot of Use Space building from the outside

The Importance of the Perfect Workspace

It is estimated that on average, people will spend up to one third of their life at work. This is a huge chunk of our lives to spend in dull, grey cubicles. Finding the right workspace can provide benefits for both employees AND employers: including improved morale and productivity; increased collaboration, and more.

Nowadays it is not merely enough for an employer to offer a competitive wage, adequate holiday time, and an office with a faintly mouldy smelling microwave and fridge set. Particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where workers became used to the comforts and benefits that came with home working, modern workers expect far more than ever before. However, the benefits for employers are clear as day, including the following:  

Better Collaboration 

Recent office design trends have suggested that the future of the medium is in more open space working. This format, centred on the preference for teams to better mingle, with as little segregation and partition as possible, is believed to encourage a more collaborative working environment. 

Breakout meeting of people working together

More collaboration and teamwork between every employee, and every department can boost innovative thinking, and consistency across the board. 

Better Productivity 

Within an office environment, the happier workers are in their day-to-day environment, the more productive they feel they can be. Studies conducted by BT have found that happy employees can be up to 13% more productive. This particular study was cited as perhaps the most clear evidence to date of the intrinsic link between productivity and happiness. 

Therefore, if you can provide them with the perfect workspace, your employees are highly likely to reward you in kind. Encourage expression, encourage higher morale, and in turn encourage greater success. 

Better Viability   

While creating an ideal work environment for your current employees may be vital if you wish to increase employee happiness and productivity, it can also have a knock on effect for the prolonged success of your company. 

The workforce of the future are here. Gen Z is beginning to make huge leaps and bounds into the workplace, and with this new influx of eager workers comes different needs. To attract the cream of the crop nowadays, you must be able to offer a perfect working environment for collaboration, flexibility, productivity, growth and more. Nurture the perfect workspace for your team, and make yourself more attractive in the process. 

Better Mentally 

It is important for modern workers to feel valued by their employees. One of the most simple methods of showing this is by providing them with a space they can be proud of, and a space that makes people feel calm, relaxed, and ready to work. 

The BT study mentioned above found that paid work was ranked near the bottom of all potential activities when it comes to population happiness. If people don’t want to come into work they are unlikely to give you their best. 

Person sat smiling on a chair

Making small changes to your workspace, such as introducing a leisure space for employees to relax, or embracing biophilic design in your office can work wonders to make people happier; and making people happier goes hand in hand with many other positive factors that could increase the output of your business in the future. 

What is Biophilic Design? 

Biophilic design is a method used within the interior design and construction industry designed to connect all occupants with the natural world and environment. This is done by bringing nature into these spaces. Some of the notable benefits of biophilic design are: 

  • Increased productivity 
  • A calming presence
  • Relieve stress and improve well-being
  • Improve air quality 

The origins of biophilic design are believed to stem from Edward O. Wilson’s 1984 book Biophilia, and his biophilia hypothesis. The biophilia hypothesis is the belief that all humans, thanks to their deep rooted genetics, are predisposed to be drawn to, and attracted to, nature. 

The concepts supported by the biophilic hypothesis and in biophilic design are based around the belief that humans are inherently more healthy if they have regular access to a more natural environment. 

Bringing the outside inside

Biophilic design is on the rise across offices, restaurants, retail, and homes, with good reason. Studies have found that there is a causal link between access to nature and lower levels of cortisol, the hormone used to assess stress levels in the human body. This can be achieved from taking a long walk in the park, working from your garden, or even looking out of the window. 

At Use Space, not only are you never a few feet away from nature, you also have constant access to the outdoors thanks to our Garden of Wonderland. Bringing the outdoors inside is a cornerstone of what we do at Use Space, but sometimes, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, having the opportunity to take the inside outdoors can have a similarly transformative effect. 

How to Create an Ideal Work Environment 

Creating an ideal work environment is creating a nurturing and supportive space for your team. It is about freeing yourself from traditions of the past, choosing not to cut any corners or tread familiar ground. It is about opting against an overreliance of grey or eggshell white and considering what flashes of colour can do to inspire your employees. 

The concept of harnessing your workforce using the space they are in is a relatively new one. The most famous example of an employer building an ideal work environment with the intention of bettering the output and happiness of their workforce would be Google. 

The tech giant is renowned for investing heavily in their office spaces because they believe wholeheartedly in the belief that creating the happiest, most productive workspace in the world will lead to creating the happiest, most productive workforce also. 

Two people working together

Therefore, when seeking to create an ideal work environment of your own, there are a number of things that you should consider, including: 

  • More of an open plan to encourage collaboration 
  • Additional common areas for conversation and synergy between departments 
  • Increased access to nature 
  • Make the space more light hearted in nature to nurture a sense of wonder and happiness in people’s days
  • Access to nature and the outside

Why Use Space is Different

At Use Space we believe that providing every member of our community with the perfect workspace, the ideal platform on which to increase their productivity and increase their output is the very least that we can do. Why accept cookie cutter when you can have colourful and complementary. 

Within our walls there are no boundaries. We don’t believe in fencing people off. There are no walls in place for people to squirrel themselves away from embracing opportunity. More than anything, Use Space is a community — a community of like-minded, intelligent, independent people who can build each other up. 

Our base being in Manchester, the most creative and culturally diverse city of its size in all the world, meant that we couldn’t even think for one second about being merely ordinary. 

Our community varies from room to room, table to table, chair to chair; people from all backgrounds and specialities under one roof. We wanted to reflect this in our space, that is why there is as much diversity in our rooms and our spaces as there is between the businesses and the people. 

Individuality allows for creativity. At Use Space we love free-thinkers; ours is an inclusive and diverse space free from any judgement, it is designed to be comfortable for any and all. For more information about what our workspaces have to offer, or to simply learn more about what our memberships can offer you, get in touch with us online or call us at 0161 546 0544.

Use.News

Stay up to date with how you can develop and grow your business at Manchester's most innovative co-working space.