Balancing investment in people, technology and innovative workplace design

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Office design company Oktra has launched a new guide for employers looking to create a high-performance workplace which balances investment in people, technology, and innovative workplace design.

They believe that creating a high-performance workplace goes beyond the physical environment—it requires a culture of involvement where every employee plays a critical role in shaping their future workplace.

Here, Oktra have outlined four foundational pillars on which to build and an approach to thinking about how the office can enable high performance for your teams.

Each of the foundations is also fundamental to workplace culture and social wellbeing.

1. The context

To enable high performance in the workplace, office design needs to be grounded in context, and context is best understood and established via a detailed design brief. The design brief needs to address the key challenges or problems the business is trying to resolve. To achieve this, you need to ask the right questions, such as:

What are the key drivers for this office move/redesign?
• Are there any problems with your current space? If so, what?
• What are the current barriers to productivity?
• How do you want employees to benefit from your new workspace?
• How do your teams tend to use available office space?
• Are you planning any major changes in terms of recruitment or ways of working?

2. The configuration

In this new world of work, businesses need to assess how their current space is being used and address any friction that may exist. In particular, they need to consider how adjacencies have been mapped out and how well internal spaces have been defined:

• Are teapoints/social areas too close to breakout meeting spaces, resulting in disruption and noise?
• Are fixed workstations and designated team areas encouraging siloes and nesting, impacting workplace cohesion?
• Are employees able to access amenities, tools and resources?

High-performance businesses assess the different modes and styles of work that take place across the business and develop design strategies around that.

3. The programme of events

A company’s programme of events can be critical to productivity. Events that happen on a regular basis, such as lunch-and-learns, town halls, brainstorms or end-of-week wrap-ups, are essential for keeping employees informed and equipped to perform.

For this, the surrounding workspace needs to be right. Whether it’s dedicated and additional space, or areas that enable dual use, businesses need to consider how interior design can support their internal events programme.

4. The education piece

An office is only as effective as its users, and the education piece is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of the high-performance workplace. This doesn’t just mean ‘onboarding’ employees in a new space or with a new design, but continuously updating and reinforcing knowledge about the workspace’s design features, etiquette, and evolving practices.

You can read more about Oktra’s four pillars for designing a high-performing workplace here and by downloading their “High performance workplace guide” here.

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You can meet Oktra at The Office Event, where they’ll be exhibiting. The event’s comprehensive free-to-attend education programme features a host of speakers from GSK, Barclays, Arup, Lloyds Banking Group, GWI, Legal & General, WeTransfer and many more. Find out more and register here.

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