Creating an office as cool as Google

Glass Office PartitionsIf you look at some of the most innovative office spaces around the world, the one that is best known is most probably the various Google buildings. The UK Google building was designed and built a couple of years ago now, but shares the iconic ‘look’ that people associate with this modern and often ‘crazy’ company.

The most notable inclusion in the layout of this UK building is the sheer variety in choice of materials and colours to help partition up the office and to help create different spaces within the office itself. The office partitioning seems to be made up of the ever popular glass to walls being made up entirely of topiary. Of course, Google have done whatever they could to help create a creative environment for their staff.

But how can you create a similar creative environment within your own business without making changes quite as drastic as Google? There are 10 important elements that you should consider when coming up with your initial design:

  1. Thermal Comfort and Temperature- the ideal temperature for an office has been reported to be 21.6 C with productivity dropping by 1 to 2% for every Celsius below that
  2. Access to Nature, Views and Daylight- people work best in open environments, office partitioning made from glass can help echo this environment
  3. Sensory Change and Variability- Daylight is the best level of lighting to aim for, with sudden changes in light and sound being directly linked to a drop in productivity and staff satisfaction, introducing textures can also help!
  4. Colour- vary colour in the work place, preferably using lighter shades and it helps keep a room bright and more appealing as it echoes natural spaces
  5. Noise Control- When employees have a degree of control over the noise in their environment, they are less distracted by sudden noises
  6. Crowding- research has shown that men are more likely to feel crowded than women, by using lighter, brighter spaces with high ceilings or those that have walls with mirrors or glass you can help encourage a more open feel to your office
  7. Human Factors and Ergonomics– provide your staff with ergonomic chairs and furniture and encourage your staff to regularly walk about and go outside
  8. Indoor Air Quality- Ensure that your office heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and other office equipment is checked and maintained on a regular basis and hire cleaning and maintained staff to keep your office in the best possible shape
  9. Choice- If possible, try and give your staff a variety of different locations to complete tasks and encourage casual communication to help foster staff interaction
  10. Employee Engagement- try to provide work spaces that enable visibility, openness and greater employee mobility to foster engagement. When workers are more likely to see each other via methods such as glass office partioning, they are more likely to connect and collaborate.