Customer experience (CX) has stolen the spotlight for decades. Undeniably, CX is a crucial component of a thriving business, yet over-emphasizing it leaves an upstream opportunity for driving success untouched — employee experience (EX).
Not only do satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. From productivity to profitability, EX is where every business outcome begins. Especially in today’s increasingly hybrid world, the influence of the physical workplace is getting the attention it deserves.
One-size-fits-all offices just don’t fit anymore. Modern workforces, full of cultural and neuro-diversity, demand a more dynamic and empathetic approach to the work environment. Workplace Experience Design (WXD) is that approach, harmonizing spatial design, furniture selections, technology, operations, culture, and more for a robust and holistic employee experience.
Understanding the Workplace Experience
Conventional and outdated workplace expectations are giving way to a new focus on employee satisfaction, well-being, and sustainability. And a generic good-faith effort isn’t enough.
Research efforts that used to be exclusive to customer behavior are now being applied to better understand what drives innovation, connection, and collaboration among employees. We perform thorough research and in-depth employee surveys with each of our clients to discover what motivates employees, what they value, and what they
find draining at work. This forms the basis for a WXD strategy that enhances employee experience.
Our design for Workhaus highlights the nuanced strategy that is vital to creating a vibrant workplace experience for employees. Adding value is about customization. In their office, we included coworking and collaborative spaces crafted to reflect the company's core values while supporting professional growth opportunities, training and workshops, and community interactions.
Instead of optimizing square footage per employee alone, WXD optimizes for how employees feel at work and about their organization — opening the door to unique ways to foster and change workplace culture. WXD asks how employees are greeted when they arrive at work. How accessible are amenities during their typical workday? How does the workplace foster ease, efficiency, and effectiveness? And what about this workplace makes work more enjoyable?
The Role of Physical Spaces in Driving Workplace Experience
A company’s physical workplace is one of the strongest statements of what a company stands for, how they value their employees, and what they expect from them. Offices strategically designed to support employees inspire a sense of belonging, reduce distractions, eliminate obstacles to success, and empower employees.
When we join forces with a company in WXD, we combine beautiful designs with a solid construction process to provide a futuristic, well-tailored space that influences and transforms their workforce. We ensure longevity and relevance by combining what is currently ideal with a vision for future growth. Every step of the way, our work is deeply informed by staff feedback and established business objectives.
We know that no two businesses or industries are exactly alike. Our meticulous customization process allows us to create the perfect space to motivate your staff, boost their productivity, and improve their communication. We aim to leave both employees and visitors to a company’s workspace with a strong impression of their company culture, brand, and identity.
Key Influences in Workplace Experience Design
The adaptability the employees experience in their space reflects the adaptability of the company culture. Employees who feel they can influence their environment feel more empowered to influence their team, too. Since furniture and static architecture are less of a concern in adaptable spaces, they also remove obstacles to efficiency and increase workplace satisfaction. In the office, we designed for Skip the Dishes, an open-plan office space provided plenty of opportunities for collaboration.
Many offices are moving away from assigned offices toward spaces with dedicated uses. These include deep work areas, teaming rooms, spaces for well-being amenities, and areas that foster networking and connection. Even when spaces aren’t used by all employees, simply having access to various options creates an increased sense of freedom and has been shown to improve employee performance.
We incorporated a variety of dedicated spaces into the design of Skip the Dishes’ new open office. One entire floor was dedicated to a multi-use conference space with its own kitchen and an inviting welcome area warmly lit by a gas fireplace. Other floors included private phone booths, coffee spots, and executive offices.
Physical workplaces set the tone for employee safety mentally, emotionally, and environmentally. During the pandemic, safety efforts focused on air quality and other health measures that protected employees. Safety necessities can vary by location and according to the workplace culture. Across the board, though, workers who feel comfortable, secure, and stable in their workplace are more focused, productive, and innovative. Over time, a safe workplace can also reduce chronic stress and burnout.
Beyond spatial ability, employees are also looking for flexibility in their workplaces. This means accommodations that allow them to step away to deal with personal matters, amenities that encourage non-sleep-rest and brain breaks, and opportunities to socialize with their coworkers. Employees who get to determine where, when, and even how they work are more likely to view their companies as innovative and take pride in their organization.
Playful elements incorporated into workplace design echo the value of flexibility. Our client System 1 included a ping pong table, a foosball game, and a Rush pinball machine in their open-office design, inspired by the CEO’s interests. In addition, the many hybrid spaces in their headquarters foster collaboration and the spirit of unity at the heart of System1’s company culture.
Viewing each employee holistically means understanding their work and personal needs to accommodate them better. Smart design in the suburbs can reduce employee commutes while providing community and culture-building opportunities. Urban offices can contrast their busy surroundings with oasis spaces that support hyper-focused work. No matter the needs of your workforce, WXD can optimize your office, empower employees, and expand what’s possible.
Design choices that are tailored to your company culture can inspire expansion and innovation for years to come — without extra effort on your end. Workplace design fuels the lifeblood of your organization and your employees. The more cared for and valued they feel in their workplace every day, the better your business outcomes will be.
We’re here to help turn your workplace into an inspiring and unifying space! Contact one of our consultants today to get started developing your own workplace design experience.