6 key strategies for an effective office redesign (+ checklist)

How an office redesign can boost employee engagement

In the hustle and bustle of today’s work life, the design of our office space, especially when considering an office redesign, is more than just a backdrop – it’s key to keeping us engaged and productive. That’s why at Escandi, we’re big on flexible design. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Here is our guide and checklist for an effective office redesign, aimed at creating spaces that adapt to your ever-changing work needs, ensuring everyone has just the right spot to do their best work.

Photography by Escandi, Fritz Hansen, Fredericia, Gubi and Muuto

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It’s not just about having a swanky office; it’s about crafting an environment that actually motivates people to work.

Exploring space’s impact on employee engagement

Let’s talk about the significant impact your office space can have on your team’s vibe and output. It’s not just about having a swanky office; it’s about crafting an environment that actually motivates people to work. Saltmine and others in the field highlight that the right design can be a game-changer for employee morale and productivity. Imagine a workspace that not only looks good but feels right – that’s where the magic happens.

Flexibility is the buzzword these days, especially post-Covid. People want spaces that blend focus with freedom and privacy with collaboration. Harvard Business Review and Global Workplace Analytics echo this, underlining the need for designs that cater to the diverse workstyles and preferences of a modern workforce.

Consider this – natural light streaming in, comfy and ergonomic chairs, meeting rooms that don’t feel like a box and chill zones for when you need a break. These are not just nice-to-haves but rather essential for maintaining energy and fostering the flow of ideas. Plus, in a hybrid working world, these elements help bridge the gap between home and office, smoothing the transition and keeping everyone connected.

In short, the right office design is instrumental in creating a place where people not only show up but also thrive. By tuning into these needs, we at Escandi are laying the groundwork for a workspace that’s about more than just work – it’s about flourishing in it.

It’s about crafting spaces that are as flexible as our workdays.

o1: Learn from the past

Let’s take a step back to the remote work era ushered in by Covid-19. It was more than just swapping office desks for kitchen tables; it was a complete transformation in our approach to work and what we learned was pivotal. Flexibility is not just a perk, it’s a necessity. As we have since slowly transitioned back into office life, these lessons remain incredibly relevant.

The pandemic taught us that a single, rigid approach to work is inadequate for everyone. People were effectively working from their living rooms, juggling work and home life – and they were still productive. This realisation sparked a significant shift in office design thinking. Agility is now the watchword. Workspaces need to be as adaptable as the tasks they host, catering to varied work styles and needs.

Consider this: on some days, you might seek a quiet corner for deep focus, while on others, a lively brainstorming session might be key to unlocking creativity. Office design in the post-pandemic world is attuned to this variability. It’s about crafting spaces that are as flexible as our workdays. This approach doesn’t just accommodate but genuinely celebrates the diversity in our working styles.

In summary, the drive towards agile and flexible office designs is more than a passing trend – it’s rooted in a profound understanding of the diverse and dynamic nature of modern work life. In adopting these principles, companies aren’t just constructing offices; they’re creating environments that resonate with the real rhythms of 21st-century working life.

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Do you recall the energy of collaboration and connections we missed during remote interactions?

02: Design for connection

Now, let’s explore how office design can significantly enhance team bonding. Recall the energy of collaboration and connections we missed during remote interactions? We’re aiming to reintroduce that vibrancy into our office spaces.

Consider this: groundbreaking ideas often stem not from solitary confinement in a cubicle, but from spontaneous interactions – those casual discussions by the coffee machine, brainstorming on comfy couches, or jotting down thoughts in a relaxed environment. We firmly believe that designing for collaboration extends beyond simply adding a few meeting rooms. It’s about crafting spaces that foster interaction, comfort and idea-sharing.

Visualise open areas for informal team gatherings, spaces for spontaneous discussions, and communal lounges resembling trendy cafés rather than conventional office sections. These spaces are more than just work areas; they’re where relationships are forged, teams unite and creativity blossoms. It’s about dismantling the physical confines typical of traditional office layouts and nurturing an atmosphere conducive to easy, spontaneous communication.

Ultimately, designing for collaboration and connection is about recognising that exceptional work frequently arises from dynamic interactions. By developing spaces that promote these interactions, we’re not merely constructing offices; we’re cultivating communities. This is the cornerstone of a thriving workplace culture and also the cornerstone of our office designs.

These are tranquil spots for a mental break, a casual catch-up with colleagues or just some quiet time away from the desk.

03. Prioritise employee well-being

Next, let’s discuss a topic that’s especially important to us at Escandi: maintaining the health and happiness of the team. We’re delving deeper than just occasional healthy snacks. It’s about creating an environment that truly supports both physical and mental well-being.

Ergonomics plays a crucial role here – it’s about ensuring that a long day at your desk doesn’t lead to discomfort or health issues. This includes chairs that support your posture, appropriately positioned desks and user-friendly keyboards.

Beyond ergonomic furniture, the overall ambience of the office is key. Imagine entering a workspace filled with greenery, bathed in natural light, reminiscent of a bright, airy atrium. Plants serve not only as décor but also as natural mood enhancers and air purifiers. Moreover, dedicated relaxation zones are essential. These are tranquil spots for a mental break, a casual catch-up with colleagues or just some quiet time away from the desk.

In essence, Escandi prioritises the team’s well-being in every aspect of workspace design. From lighting that syncs with natural body rhythms to green spaces that soothe the mind and areas designed for relaxation, every detail is considered to ensure that the time spent at work contributes positively to overall health and well-being.

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Consider this: not all private tasks require sitting at a desk.

04. Allow space for privacy

Alright, let’s shift focus to a crucial aspect every open office requires – a bit of personal space. At Escandi, we strongly believe in the vitality of open-plan offices, yet we recognise the need for individual focus or confidential conversations.

Visualise being in a busy office but needing to concentrate deeply or have a private discussion. Escandi introduces clever solutions for such scenarios. Imagine soundproof pods as serene islands amidst the office’s lively atmosphere, ideal for moments when you need to isolate yourself from external distractions and concentrate on your work.

Consider this: not all private tasks require sitting at a desk. Have you ever thought about phone booths in an office setting? Not for dramatic costume changes, but for those instances when you need to make a call without unintentionally broadcasting to the entire office.

In summary, Escandi’s office design philosophy skillfully balances collaborative spaces with essential private areas. Incorporating features such as soundproof spaces, secluded workstations, and private phone booths, to name a few examples, they ensure versatile office environments, catering to various work scenarios, from team brainstorming sessions to concentrated solo tasks.

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It’s an ingenious method to maintain a strong, cohesive brand identity globally.

05. Add brand identity

In office design, aesthetics and brand identity play significant roles in fostering employee engagement. Escandi understands this deeply. We recognise that an office is not merely a workplace but a space that mirrors identity and values.

Consider the impact of an office that aligns with your brand’s essence. It’s akin to operating in a space that actively embodies your company’s ethos, fostering a sense of belonging and pride among employees.

Focusing on practical applications, Escandi offers valuable advice for integrating brand identity into office aesthetics. We suggest selecting colour schemes that reflect your brand’s palette by subtly integrating your corporate identity into the workspace. Then there’s the décor – choosing furniture, art and decor that align with your brand’s style and ethos contributes to a unified, storytelling environment.

Escandi goes further, especially for businesses with multiple locations, by providing a brand manual for interior design. This manual serves as a guide to ensure a stylistically consistent presence worldwide, covering everything from colour schemes to furniture selections. It’s an ingenious method to maintain a strong, cohesive brand identity globally.

Ultimately, Escandi’s approach to office design transcends mere aesthetics. It’s about crafting spaces that not only look appealing but also resonate deeply with the company’s identity, ensuring that employees feel a connection and engagement with the brand, regardless of their work location.

It’s not about making changes and leaving them be; it’s about continuous evaluation and adaptation.

06. Implement and evaluate changes

Alright, so you’ve got this fantastic new office design ready to go, but how do you bring it to life without a complete upheaval? And crucially, how can you tell if it’s really hitting the mark? This is where we help you by employing our savvy approach.

First and foremost, when introducing new design elements, clear communication is vital. It’s essential to keep everyone informed about what’s changing, why it’s changing, and the benefits these changes will bring. This ensures that your whole team is engaged and enthusiastic about the new environment.

Once the changes are in place, it’s important to monitor how they’re being received and used. Are the new collaborative spaces actually fostering collaboration? Is the designated quiet zone serving its purpose? Gathering feedback is key here. Using regular surveys, suggestion boxes, or even informal chats can provide valuable insights into what’s working and what might need tweaking.

Escandi’s approach really stands out when it comes to long-term planning. It’s not about making changes and leaving them be; it’s about continuous evaluation and adaptation. For instance, if those new phone booths aren’t in the right spot or if the open areas are too exposed, adjustments can be made. Escandi understands that an office, like the people within it, must evolve and adapt continuously.

In summary, the implementation of new design elements is just the beginning. The real success lies in how these changes are assessed and refined over time to ensure high levels of engagement and a positive atmosphere. It’s about creating a workspace that evolves to meet the changing needs of its users.

The checklist

Let’s sum up the journey through the world of office design with Escandi. We’ve looked at everything from creating versatile, dynamic spaces to enhancing collaboration and connection amongst teams. We’ve also explored the importance of ergonomic design, prioritising mental and physical well-being, and providing spaces for focus and privacy. Not to mention, we’ve seen how Escandi integrates aesthetics and brand identity into their designs.

This exploration culminates in our comprehensive checklist, designed to guide businesses like yours in creating not just workplaces, but thriving, productive and engaging spaces that resonate with the rhythms of modern work life.

1. Learn from the past
Embrace lessons from remote working: flexibility and agility are key.
Design spaces adaptable to various work styles and needs, reflecting the diversity of modern work life.
2. Design for connection
Create environments that encourage collaboration and team bonding.
Implement open areas, communal lounges and spaces for spontaneous discussions, moving beyond traditional meeting rooms.
3. Prioritise employee well-being
Focus on ergonomics: comfortable furniture, natural light and an overall healthy working environment.
Include elements like plants, relaxation zones and an office layout that supports mental and physical health.
4. Allow space for privacy
Recognize the need for private spaces in open-plan offices.
Introduce soundproof pods and private phone booths for focused work and confidential conversations.
5. Add brand identity
Integrate the company’s brand identity into the office design.
Use colour schemes, furniture and décor that reflect the brand’s ethos and values.
6. Implement and evaluate changes
Communicate clearly about the purpose and benefits of new design changes.
Monitor and gather feedback on how new spaces are used and adapt as necessary for continuous improvement.

Feeling inspired to transform your workspace? Escandi is ready to bring these concepts to life. We are not just interior designers; we are creators of workspaces that energise and inspire. So why wait? Reach out to us at info@escandi.se and let’s transform your office into a space where employees don’t just work but flourish.