Three Work Environment Types
There are a variety of work environment types. Learn about each type so you can design your work environment to cater to your employees and industry.
Revamping your office is no small task! The way you configure your office space can empower your team to work towards your biggest dreams. But as your imagination runs wild with possibilities, the questions also come flooding in.
What kind of space best suits the needs of your team? What kind of workplace habits do you want to encourage? Deciding on the right work environment for your office is a big responsibility. You’ll be setting the tone for various parts of your business from operations to recruiting to client interactions. That’s why we offer office furniture services to help you achieve the perfect work environment for your employees.
We’ve created this guide to help you consider the best fit for your team. Read on to learn about the various work environment types.
What Exactly Is a Work Environment?
When your team members arrive at work, they spend their day interacting with the tasks at hand and also with the larger surroundings—everything from the office space itself to co-workers to more abstract considerations like opportunities for personal development.
Together, these interactions make up the work environment.
In thinking about how to design the work environment for your office, pay particular attention to the following factors:
- The people – Consider the number of people in your office and their vibe. For example, if your office houses multiple departments, you might prioritize quick communication and strong rapport between teams. Conversely, if team members work best on their own, make sure to invest more in high-quality individual workspaces.
- The building – Take the layout of the building into account. Are you in a large or small area? You may find a cozier office space naturally suited to a more social work environment. Don’t forget to pay attention to background factors such as the amount of ambient noise or natural light when designing your environment.
- The furniture – As you fill your office with a snazzy height-adjustable office computer desk and fun swivel chairs from our office furniture collections, remember that furniture is a great opportunity for defining the workspace and creating boundaries. Lounge chairs, sofas, collaboration tables, and larger multi-seat tables encourage teamwork, whereas dividers and cubicle walls can ensure privacy.
Next, we’ll dive into various possible work environments to consider.
#1 The Flexible Work Environment
In a flexible environment, your team has more freedom in setting their own schedules. If certain team members are morning larks, they may already be working before the sun comes up! Others may set their hours based on convenience or existing personal responsibilities.
Examples of a flexible work environment include:
- Hybrid schedules combining remote and in-person work
- Compressed workweeks, such as working ten hours a day for four days a week
- Flextime, where team members can alter the start and end times of the workday
While such work environments require a high level of accountability, they also come with important benefits that lead to more effective work and better performance, including:
- Feeling heard – By giving your team the freedom to choose when and where they work, you honor their unique personalities and needs. This can lead to greater productivity and increased trust in the workplace.
- Less stress – Studies have shown that flexibility in the workplace improves emotional health and results in fewer stress factors overall. If your team members don’t have to fight through rush hour, they may be happier—and more able to devote energy and attention to their job responsibilities.
Set It Up
When you’re designing a flexible office space environment, focus on creating shared spaces that team members can pop in and out of. Your team is less likely to live in their workspace, so creating multiple welcoming areas where they can easily settle in is key. Must-have spaces include:
- Meeting rooms – With a hybrid schedule, your team will most likely be coming to the office for meetings, so make sure these rooms are filled with conference tables and chairs, power modules, and media cabinets. Additionally, consider designing a few meeting pods that can be used for smaller gatherings.
- Individual workspaces – With varied work arrangements, there’s no need to provide a designated workspace for every team member. However, be sure to include a handful of individual workspaces for those who do prefer to work in office. If there isn’t enough room for office cubicle desks, a larger desk and dividers will also do the trick!
- Common areas – To keep your team coming back, set up welcoming common spaces where everyone in the office can bounce around ideas and enjoy some social interaction. Put together a breakout area with a lux sofa set, whiteboards, and multiple power cords so your team can brainstorm digitally or on paper.
#2 The Collaborative Workspace
If you find your team is constantly holding meetings to generate new ideas, or showing up to the weekly feedback session without fail, why not use the office set-up to encourage even more collaboration?
A collaborative working environment brings many benefits, including:
- Team bonding – It’s all too easy for an office to fall into a company culture of competition, but with a collaborative office space, your team members are more likely to get along, share information, and help each other on projects. A friendly atmosphere leads to increased trust and fewer issues with communication.
- Creativity – When your team brainstorms together, they can generate a greater number of ideas and solutions. A collaborative working environment means team members are making new connections and finding innovative ways to approach recurring problems. A standing height conference table or a live edge conference table is a creative way to keep the energy flowing while encouraging collaboration.
- Adaptability – Collaboration leads to multi-disciplinary work and more adaptable employees. When your team is aware of events and situations outside of their own department, they are better positioned to find solutions while taking into account all the interests of the company.
Set It Up
Here are some tips and tricks for how to organize an office to promote an effective and positive work environment for working together:
- Encourage communication – Set up the office to encourage various members of a team or of various departments to interact regularly. Shared breakrooms and shared equipment—such as filing cabinets—can lead to productive conversations. Implement company-wide organizational methods for ease of information sharing.
- Provide enough equipment – Don’t make your team fight for those scarce laptop charging stations! Make sure your office has more than enough supplies, such as filing space, power cords, and pens or markers, so that larger groups can comfortably work together in one room.
- Don’t forget individual workspaces – While most of the office can be dedicated to collaborative work, it’s also important to maintain a few personal offices and cubicles. Team members can use these when they need to recharge or complete individual tasks. These spaces are also suitable for one-on-one meetings.
#3 The Traditional Office
When in doubt, it can be best to stick with the tried and true, which in the office world, means the classic nine-to-five work environment. Defining features of traditional office spaces include:
- Numerous individual cubicles
- Conservative-leaning dress code
- Quiet environment for individual work
These work environments have stuck around for a reason. If you’re looking for the following advantages, the conventional work environment might just be for you:
- Professionalism – A clean, well-designed conference room setup is a hallmark of conventional work environments, which means your team will always have an appropriate place to bring clients and hold meetings. Maintaining a professional image can be particularly important if your business partners are established companies on the conservative side.
- Privacy – The standard nine-to-five work environment shines when it comes to privacy. Cubicles and office doors mean that your team can work independently without distraction. If certain departments such as legal or finance require quiet to tackle the nitty-gritty, a traditional office space might very well be in your future.
Set It Up
Make use of the clean design and large amounts of personal space that come with traditional or conventional work environments. Consider the following in setting up the classic office environment:
- Allow for personalization – An important perk of having a designated cubicle is the opportunity to make it your own. Make sure employees have the equipment they need to infuse their workspaces with their unique organizational methods, workflow, and personality. A filing cabinet and colorful set of labels or a whiteboard and marker set are promising starting points.
- Splurge on conference spaces – Go for the gold when it comes to meeting rooms, especially those where you plan to host clients. Ergonomic, high-back leather chairs and a smooth, glossy table stretching the length of the room shows that you’re serious about professionalism.
- Add some break rooms – While you want to encourage individual work, it’s also helpful to have various spots throughout the office where your team can go to unwind. Throw in a sleek, minimalist chair and table set where team members can sit down for a cup of tea or grab a quick bite to eat.
Juniper: Simple, Reliable Pieces for Your Dream Office
No matter the type of work environment, we’ve got your furniture needs covered with our office furniture solutions. From minimalist coffee tables to sleek meeting pods and no-nonsense cubicles, our high-quality pieces are ready to help your team get to work.
Unsure where to begin?. Work with a dedicated project consultant at Juniper to choose the best layout for your business. We eliminate the guesswork from the process, and you’re left with what works.
Let Juniper be the fun, hassle-free solution to all your office needs.
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Professional Staging. How to Define a Space with Elements Other Than Walls. https://professionalstaging.com/design/how-to-define-a-space-with-elements-other-than-walls/
Talent Lyft. What is Flexible Work Arrangements? https://www.talentlyft.com/en/resources/what-is-flexible-work-arrangements
Forbes. The Benefits Of Flex Work For People, Families And The Environment. https://www.forbes.com/sites/iese/2021/06/09/the-benefits-of-flex-work-for-people-families-and-the-environment/
ProofHub. 8 Steps to Collaboration to Work in a Collaborative Environment. https://www.proofhub.com/articles/collaborative-working-environment
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