If there’s one thing all companies will agree on, it’s that they want their employees to be productive. But productivity doesn’t just happen. It’s a result of drive, a healthy dose of encouragement, and the ultimate secret weapon: environment.
We’re in the midst of revamping Mayker HQ in the heart of Germantown, and designing for productivity is at the top of the priority list. Here are 5 of the top ways we’re ensuring our space will be beautiful, functional, and truly productive.
1. Marry Commercial and Residential
Modern offices are a new breed. Goodbye to the gray cubicle and the nondescript chair, choices made to keep costs low and simple. Going for a budget office is taking the short view. You’re saving money now, sure, but you’re undervaluing the potential of what an inspiring and comfortable space can do to increase the quality and output of work.
Instead of designing a space solely to work in, design a space where you want to be. Consider the kind of environment you’d be willing and want to spend eight hours a day in. Chances are it isn’t all cold lines and bulky printers. It should marry commercial and residential, combining function and beauty. Do you love it, does it inspire you? Chances are, your employees just might feel the same way, too.
2. Be Multi-Functional
The best spaces are like people — full of variety. Everyone operates differently. I’m a morning person; I do my best work at 5 AM with soft music on the Sonos, a Ranger Station candle burning, and a hot cup of coffee. I like to close the door and focus, spread out on a big desk, and knock through the priorities.
Others are opposites. Night owls. There are people who love open environments, who like working on couches, and thrive off the energy of community.
The ideal solution isn’t to design for how you work—or how you think people should work—but instead to design understanding that you will have round pegs and square holes. Craft a flexible space that has a little something for everyone. Privacy and openness. Comfort and structure.
3. Learn to Love Negative
Negative space, that is. Nothing kills a good productivity buzz like clutter. Much like the piles of dishes and laundry at home, stacks in the office distract and overwhelm. If your to-do list is already long, looking at a room full of neglected and disorganized items will only dampen the energy. Create a space where everything has its place. Intentionally leave room for negative space. The open areas will feel like fresh opportunities and space to grow.
While most of the time we run off the beauty of plush sofas and a perfect neutral palette, there is other fuel to consider. Not every company can afford the luxury of an on-site chef or catered-in meals, and that’s OK. But you can provide the basics to recharge, refresh, and turn back to the work with a touch more bounce to that step.
5. Bring the Outdoors In
The ultimate game changer: plants. According to seemingly thousands of studies, these green beauties help reduce stress, increase productivity, clean the air, boost creativity, and diminish noise. By all accounts, they’re magical, and you should already be out the door, engine on, googling the nearest nursery.