The Social Workplace: Why interaction matters in modern office design

As flexible work arrangements continue to rise, the design focus of an office is shifting. More than ever before, it's imperative to create a space that brings your team together. Read on to find out why.

The modern workplace

Design your office for interaction

Connect over coffee

The modern workplace

The way we work has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and in today’s technology-driven world, more and more companies are embracing flexible work arrangements. With remote and hybrid working becoming the norm, the importance of the physical workplace has evolved. We no longer need to spend 5 days a week in the office, so the time that we do spend at work needs to add value and offer something we can’t get when we’re working from home.

The modern workplace should be designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration and help build a sense of community. Home working has its benefits, but it can often lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness which, in turn, can negatively impact your employees’ wellbeing and performance at work. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and using the design of your office to encourage connection can not only boost wellbeing and productivity, but also gives your team a reason to work from the office.

Encourage connection to boost wellbeing and productivity

Design your office for interaction

Humans are social beings, and creating a sense of community in the workplace is crucial for employee engagement and satisfaction. Recent research by Cigna highlighted that lonely employees are less productive, have a higher risk of turnover, miss more days of work, and produce work of a lower quality. Becoming more connected as colleagues will result in a more efficient workplace. Not to mention that interaction is a catalyst for collaboration, and offices that encourage face-to-face interactions can see better problem-solving, idea sharing, and creative brainstorming sessions.

Make sure you have collaborative spaces throughout the workplace to provide employees with somewhere they can connect and build relationships in a more natural way. This could be something as simple as adding functional and flexible furniture to a breakout space where your team can grab a coffee and chat, or even adding a games room for an informal and fun way of bringing people together. But what works for a quirky tech start up might not be the right choice for a formal law firm, so the key to getting it right is ensuring that your values and company culture are reflected in the space you design.

AmTrust London - Meeting for a TopBrewer coffee

Connect over coffee

With most of us working from home for at least part of the week, there are fewer opportunities for workplace interaction, so it’s crucial to make the most of the chances we get to connect with others. The coffee machine has become an integral part of the modern office, but as well as becoming an expected workplace perk, a strategically-located and sympathetically-designed office coffee machine can actually be a simple and easy way of encouraging connection between colleagues as they grab a drink. Coffee and beverage facilities are consistently ranked as one of the most important aspects of the workplace, but they can sometimes be overlooked in the design process.

Rather than opting for a bulky tabletop machine, an office coffee machine with an under-counter brew unit, like TopBrewer, allows for seamless integration into any environment. The ability to make your coffee machine the focal point of the space and install it in a central island unit rather than needing to hide it away in a corner gives architects and designers complete freedom to design a space to meet the needs of your employees, and improves the chances of the space being used to its full potential. We all know that the best ideas happen over coffee, so give your team the office coffee experience they deserve and watch as they chat, connect and build relationships over their favourite beverage.

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