Mr. Ek Buranakul, Executive Director and Head of Workplace Strategy + Experience, Peoplespace Consulting Thailand Co., Ltd., and Knight Frank Thailand Co., Ltd., revealed that the need of having one’s own office is at the heart of workplaces. However, few people truly understand the phrase “workplace is all about business”.
The aesthetics of an office may not be a big consideration in terms of boosting the productivity of employees or increasing their affinity for the organisation. The vision and strategy of the CEO to meet employees’ needs as well as the office perks are more directly impactful on the staff and business. This combination of workplace strategy, workplace resource management, and facility management come together with design, with an emphasis on meeting business needs through workplace design.
The process of workplace strategy is not just about devising a look that is modern and suitable for the current work to be performed, but it should also reflect a study of the real functional needs of the organisation, based on true data gathered. This is in order to meet cost saving needs, gain a robust ROI, maintain staff productivity and employee satisfaction, retain and attract a certain workforce calibre, and enhance brand value. All such qualities are important in contributing to business efficiency, which is achieved through office space design that is congruous with the work.
Distinctive skills and an understanding of the processes of managing people + property + technology are required in order to do that efficiently, to achieve the maximum impact.
A study found that 79% of working people in England said that having modern and relevant work-related technology is more important than the visual design of an office. While the ping pong table, slider, hammock and overall office design help make the space look interesting as well as nice in the photo, they do not contribute to employees’ happiness or improve the quality of their work.
Survey findings from 86% of employees in England provided the insight that offices with a fun design and setting do not add value to their working lives, and another 25% said that such amenities are annoying.
Meanwhile, survey findings on the office facility requirements that afford additional benefits for employees in England show that 77% of employees want free coffee, 34% would like free breakfast, and 22% would appreciate on-site exercise facilities. Merely 11% would like good furniture for relaxing moments, while just 6% want fun furniture like beanbags and 4% desire office toys such as ping pong tables, foosball tables, sliders and arcade games.
In addition, at present, employees worldwide use an average of 50% of the total working desks provided, and when employees are heavily using the desks, less than 70% of the desk space is used. This means that over 30% of the desks that companies invest in buying are unutilized and create floor space expenses each month.
Currently, over 50% of groups of people attend meetings with no more than 4 people in attendance. Only 10% to 15% of people attend meetings with over 12 participants.
An organisation needs to have various types of data before they decide to embark on an office project, in order to implement a strategy for the most efficient use of space. What may initially seem fun and exciting may turn out to be a burden in the long run, as they are considered to be investments.
Mr. Ek added, “The association between Knight Frank Thailand and Peoplespace strengthens the consultancy in this business environment by offering distinctive services. We also bring over 14 years of experience, covering workplace strategy and change management, design, expertise in the functionality of space and facilities, and office project management and administration. This enables us to boost the capacity of organisations and address the changing business needs of our clients.”