Is being too casual right for the office?

There are various trends that tend to prevail in the workplace today, the question is are they for the best?

One of the leading trends in this category is turning the workplace environment into a very casual space, which seems more like someone’s living room than a conventional office area.

This is especially prevalent in the tech industry, and Google probably has some responsibility to bear for making beanbags items of office furniture.

Here’s a quick rundown of some reasons why going in the opposite direction, and bringing a bit of craftsmanship back into the office, may actually be a better path, and might seriously improve your whole operation across the board. Ultimately however the best argument is probably to ask the staff who work there, the results may be surprising.

 

Should interior designers just be catering for millennials?

A survey carried out on 2000 UK office workers suggests that the industry has been putting too much emphasis on millennials. According to the research, the proportion of 18-34 year olds in offices has decreased by 9% and in fact, 62% of the UK workforce is over 35 years old. This would suggest that the needs of this larger group should be considered first and foremost.

The report revealed for example factors that would steer an interior designer away from too many open plan (collaborative spaces) – understanding the workforce dynamics is essential to a project. For example: 81% of those surveyed reported a preference for being alone when making a call. Millennials are more accustomed to communicating via text and email and simply aren’t as comfortable on the phone, and senior workers require more privacy. This translates into a requirement for private areas with soundproofing options.

 

Encouraging your employees to feel like serious professionals

It may seem strange or patronising to say, but environments where everything is very relaxed and casual may fall short in terms of making your employees feel like serious professionals.

The way we present ourselves – and the environments we inhabit – have a lot to do with our own mindset and self-image. And those aren’t trivial things, either.

When you’re surrounded by office furniture that took real skill and work to create, you simply have a sense of the weight of your role that isn’t present when you’re working from a casual home environment.

Craftsmanship is, by definition, about capturing and showcasing a level of skill, artisanship, and expertise that stands on its own merit and has something artistic about it. In this way, craftsmanship stands in stark contrast to production-line produced flatpack furniture and seems weightier as a result.

When your office environment is filled with items that are clearly of a high quality, the idea of “quality” as such is likely to remain central in everyone’s mind. And that can encourage more attentive and ambitious work.

 

Improving morale in the workplace

Morale is a major component in everything from workplace productivity to employee loyalty and more.

Having a beautifully decorated environment – one that displays craftsmanship rather than just being filled with “stuff” – can also potentially boost morale in a substantial way.

 

There may not be a simple answer to the debate casual or formal, getting an employee’s take on what is suitable for the organisation will certainly boost morale, avoid creating the wrong environment for the employee demographic and is also good practice. We would argue however whichever type of office environment you choose to create craftsmanship in the furniture used goes along way to ensuring a professional and productive workforce. Read more about our processes and how we ensure great craftsmanship.

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