Planning ahead of a renovation can ensure the project’s success
Refresh Your Workspace
for Employee Satisfaction
With employees spending so much time at work, it’s no wonder they
want to be comfortable. The 2017
Staples Workplace Survey found
that 21% of employees would take
a 10% pay cut to work in a nicer
workplace. That’s a large percentage of the workforce and pay that
can’t be ignored. Redesigning your
workspace can help.
Respondents in the Staples survey cited a lack of private space as
an issue in getting work done, and
flexible seating options help workers feel more connected.
When starting a redesign, the
first rule is to understand the current and aspirational requirements
of the space and organization, suggests Ahmed ElHusseiny, Founder
and Principal at AE Superlab.
“Direct engagement with the
prospective users of the space is
key, as is careful observation of the
way that they use their existing
space, and making careful note of
what works, what doesn’t and what
can be improved upon,” he says.
Common among redesigns – no
matter the scale or space – are a
few steps that will ensure a proj-
Communicate your vision.
Effective communication and deci-sion-making are key in a design
project, particularly one where
all parties are working against a
Mote Marine Laboratory &
Aquarium in Sarasota, FL, was
the winner of Staples’ $50,000
breakroom makeover contest. For
the redesign, employees formed
an internal “design committee” to
make decisions on the project.
“That way, the needs of different groups within the company
could be heard and met at once,
and we all were able to stick to the
timeline and were happy with the
outcome,” says Kelly Galbraith,
Designer at Staples Business
One thing to keep in mind is
while you might include a variety
of voices and ideas in the decision-making process, when it comes
time to communicate, ElHusseiny
suggests having a single point of
Prioritize your wants and
needs. Looking at how people
are currently using the space – or
noticing what is lacking – can help
create a priority list when it comes
time to redesign.
How is the lighting, organiza-
tion and setup of the space now?
Think about what to keep and
what to improve on.
At Securus, they found that
it can be good to roll something
out at a small scale in advance of
investing in final changes.
Be flexible. Offering various
spaces and work environments
is a common theme you will find
throughout these redesigns.
One room could serve many
purposes with the right furniture
and setup, providing the space a
Another place to be flexible is
in the budget and timeline of the
Budgets might get cut or not go
as far as planned, and you might
need to make adjustments as the
redesign is happening.
“It’s crucial to have the ability
to make last minute changes and
adjustments throughout a renovation process,” advises Patrick
Planeta, Principal at Planeta
Look to reuse what you currently have that works. Many
projects highlighted incorporate
and repurpose existing elements
in a sustainable way. This can save
money, reduce time to completion
and provide a link between the old
“Embrace the existing building features, structure and even
its imperfections and work with
them. Don’t try to fight with
them,” says Jeff Knoll, Director of
Design for Ted Moudis Associates.
Read on to see what is popular
in designs for collaborative spaces
and meeting rooms, individual
workspaces, workplace wellness
and health initiatives, and cafes
View additional photos and information about redesign
projects in all four categories.