With a fair share of company owners switching to remote work, and a fair share of employees expressing clinical burnout, office aesthetics might be more important than ever. Open floor designs often get derided in the media because of the way they foster distractions and preclude team collaboration while traditional office designs get criticized for being to clerical looking to accommodate the creativity of new age jobs, like web design and engineering.
A new exhaustive report produced by Clutch found that 28% of American employees prefer an open floor design and more than half of this same demographic said that they value personal space more than the actual design of their place of employment. More specifically citing things like places to relax (14%), quiet spaces (13%), collaborative spaces (11%), and large meeting rooms (11%).
The authors write, “The “average” office space is hard to describe. Many offices are still traditional, with business dress code, standard hours, set desk spaces, and few perks; other offices, however, offer flexible hours, no dress code, and open spaces for employees to move around in. And many businesses don’t even have a physical office, as technology allows employees to work from home.”
Below, Ladders unpacks the varying open office designs adopted by the five successful CEOS and employees featured in Clutch’s new report. Half of the 503 full-time employed Americans surveyed by Clutch work in an urban area; 38% work in a suburban area; and 11% work in a rural area. Sixty-one percent of respondents identified as female and 39% identified as male. Thirty-seven percent of respondents were from the South, 22% were from the Midwest, 21% work out of the West and 20% are based in the Northeast. The respondents were aged 18-24 (9%); 25-34 (35%); 35-44 (33%); 45-54 (16%); 55-64 (7%); and 65 and older (1%).
1. Traditional office in Wisconsin satisfies employees by providing collaborative workspaces
This Amazon fulfillment solutions center in Geneva Supply located in Delavan, Wisconsin, has been listed in Milwaukee Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for three consecutive years. The design is particularly simple and makes use of a muted color scheme. Little touches like the wood-paved walls and fauna go a long way to re-contextualize what is essentially a traditional office.
“The office is very unique, welcoming, and is hooked up with a great stereo system so that we can all enjoy music,” Digital Marketing Strategist Catrina Carne said. “It gives us a great area to collaborate, be comfortable, and just get things done.”
2. Personalized office in Pittsburgh makes employees’ workspace feel like home
Personalized office designs allow employees to be a part of the decorative elements of their assigned workspace. A heterogeneous mix of knick-knacks might not contribute to a sleek looking workspace but it seems to do wonders for employee morale.
“Our office atmosphere is unique, dynamic, and welcoming,” Content Writer and Editor Mary Koczan said. “Reminders of what the company stands for and being able to display important aspects of one’s personal life inspires respect and trust. It encourages employees to be successful as individuals and as a team.”
3. Coworking office in Denver provides unique collaboration opportunities
Co-working offices feature a mix of employees from different firms all working under the same roof. This blend creates a casual vibe that encourages workers to produce material outside of their comfort zones.
“We share our space with podcasters, interior designers, landscapers, and everything in between,” Mann said. We’re definitely more laidback than your traditional, cubicle-ridden office,” Mann said. “We encourage ping-pong breaks, office puppies, and grabbing the occasional beer.”
4. Hybrid office in Boise combines traditional and coworking spaces
Deliberate Directions is a coaching firm located in Boise, Idaho. Their effective office meld contains rooms for its own employees in addition to renting out space to freelancers, workers that need to work remotely, and companies that need a provisional location for team-building exercises, business planning meetings, and training programs.
“The hybrid model has worked well for us because it allows us to interact with clients and co-workers while also creating flexibility for other businesses in our community,” CEO Allison Dunn said.
Remote doesn’t have to be the exclusive outcome for the future of work but employers should consider augmenting their aesthetics to keep pace with rapidly evolving priorities expressed by young candidates.
“Twenty years ago, someone who didn’t go to a traditional office every day was rare. Now, however, there is no “normal” office space. From coworking to remote working, employees work in a variety of environments. The perfect office space varies by a company’s needs and objectives. Some businesses thrive in a traditional office, while others succeed in a coworking or home office space. The “typical” American office space no longer exists,” Kristen Herhold, who is the Senior Content Developer & Marketer at Clutch