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Creative makeover of workplaces
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Monday, 06 June 2016

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Chairs in offices are giving way to quirky bean bags or couches, and swanky coffee tables are replacing the boring study/work desks. Even the conference rooms are getting more playful, be it with the furniture, the décor or the entire setup itself.

Play Games 24x7 - Meeting Room (Click on the image to enlarge) Play Games 24x7 - Meeting Room (Click on the image to enlarge)

Workplace design has a significant impact on culture, behaviours and the overall productivity of the workforce in an organisation. This is primarily why many companies are revamping their workspaces and replacing the conventional cubicles and work bays with open spaces, lounges and community desks.

Office chairs are giving way to quirky bean bags or couches and swanky coffee tables are replacing the boring study/work desks. Even the conference rooms are getting more playful, be it with the furniture, the décor or the entire setup itself.

Organisations are innovating in a plethora of ways to make the workplace more interesting, engaging and fun for its employees. In order to engage its employees in a unique way, connecting them with nature and helping them generate more innovative ideas at work, EuroKids International, the Pre-School chain, recently opened its O3 centre - Out Of Office.

O3 is a specially designed work park that serves as an ideation centre as well. The outdoor ideation centre is nestled among fruit laden trees and is full of sounds of chirping birds. It also has Wi-Fi and charging points to serve as a perfect research and development centre.

It goes without saying that the confined workspace – that is the cubicles not only restrict continuous mutual interaction among colleagues, it also limits creative thinking.

Facebook recently opened its new swish office in Mumbai that has open seating, exciting graphics on the walls, contemporary furniture and décor; and of course the usual meeting rooms but with unusual names such as ‘Vada Pao’ or ‘Pina Colaba’.

Prajodh Rajan, co-founder and CEO, EuroKids International, says, “Nature is the best way to bring out the best in a person and therefore we decided to take our employees closer to it.”

“O3 is an attempt to help employees think not just out of the box but also out of the designated office space. Fresh air and higher levels of oxygen definitely boost energy levels and make the mind more active and sharp. Also, nature serves as a great source of inspiration to get one’s creative juices flowing”.

Similarly, Play Games 24x7, a social mobile gaming company, has styled its entrance, meeting rooms, conference hall and canteen such that there’s no boredom and the employees feel fresh and motivated at all times. Keeping in mind the lack of open spaces in offices, the company has recreated an open space in a room called the ‘Mystery room’.

It goes without saying that the confined workspace – that is the cubicles not only restrict continuous mutual interaction among colleagues, it also limits creative thinking.

This ideation centre has a landscape background with grass carpeting to help employees relax and ideate with a free mind just as they would if they would be out in the open. The entrance and the canteen are all done with vibrant colours and graphics to break the monotony of work.

“We spend a large part of our productive lives in offices. It is, therefore, critical to ensure that the office space that is conducive to our personal and professional growth”, says Bhavin Pandya, CEO and Co-Founder, Play Games24x7.

“Our personalities and behaviours are greatly impacted by the spaces we occupy, given that many of us spend so much time in office that it makes sense to organise and optimise that space in the most beneficial way possible. The benefits include enhanced employee satisfaction, retention of existing talent and acquisition of new talent, increased productivity, and a better understanding of an organisation’s overall philosophy. For us, the office space is not just another physical asset but a tool for our strategic and cultural growth”, he adds.

EuroKids O3

As it is the world is getting smaller and boxed up by the concrete structures, where workplaces with the cubicle culture present the biggest example of confining individuals in their own little space. No doubt, at times individual space or a closed environment is required for certain introspections or discussions however most creative thinking, brainstorming and innovation requires an open environment where people can come together, discuss, share ideas and even have conversations beyond work to encourage camaraderie and team bonding.

May be this is why even Facebook recently opened its new swish office in Mumbai that has open seating, exciting graphics on the walls, contemporary furniture and décor; and of course the usual meeting rooms but with unusual names such as ‘Vada Pao’ or ‘Pina Colaba’. These new-age office setups surely stand out and convey that an open environment at workplace is the need of the hour. So here’s the secret spell for organisations expecting their people to think out-of-the-box – create a workspace that let’s go of the box!

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Tuesday, 07 June 2016

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