So, how do you create an office space that makes people want to be at work?

FSG Africa believes the key is having spaces that reflect a culture of everything that motivates and drives people. A space with autonomy and flexibility – that’s a space that can transform a business. Employers are starting to realise that space can be a tremendous lever. People and property are your best assets. You presumably hire the best people you can and office space is now being seen as a significant factor in recruiting, maintaining and maximising talent. 

Workspace design’s importance goes far beyond décor. We shape buildings but they shape us too. With most staff spending more than eight hours a day in the office, the working space needs to be strategically designed to encourage positivity and productivity, otherwise, employees may not be working effectively and managers may not be getting the maximum out of their talent pool. If we can give people the stimuli they need through their work environment, and not just a purple chair! – that has an impact on individuals, families and communities as a whole.

For example, do you find that your staff are constantly taking coffee breaks or balcony visits to stay energised and focused? Chances are, they’re not getting enough natural light in the work space. One of the most striking factors influencing how well we work is the colour temperature of the light source that we’re exposed to on a regular basis. Let’s look at some research.

According to researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program: North Western University Chicago, there is a detrimental impact that results from working in a light deficient, windowless environment. A new study titled, “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,” demonstrates a definite relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep activity and quality of life. In the study, it was revealed that workers with ample windows and natural light in the workplace received 173% more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night!

It is therefore critical to consider natural light in office space design so be sure to bear in mind the impact that light, space and design has, not only on the productivity of your talent but on their well-being, positivity and happiness.

While these may seem like simple insights one only has to look at companies that understand what drives human productivity to see that they not only get the most out of their valuable talent but are more competitive, deliver better services and goods and generate higher income.

An office fit-out is an investment and often small things like natural light are overlooked. FSG Africa has over 20 years experience in looking at the small albeit vital components of your investment and there is no question that a well-thought-out office offers clear returns. Some people look at staff as a cost, some look at staff as an investment, but either way, at some point you’re going to have to spend something. Investing in a well-thought-out office will eventually pay for itself with higher performance from staff.

As we all know, happy people make the best employees!