The design of corporate interiors has a direct effect on employee wellbeing. Small improvements, ranging from better air quality to beanbags in the lounge, can greatly increase happiness and productivity levels. In launching their new offices at Place Eleven, Riga, bespoke payment specialists ECommPay took the opportunity to rethink not only design, but also strategies to cultivate corporate culture, resulting in 97% of employees reporting high job satisfaction in a recent office-wide survey. Below, ECommPay shares a few tips to help replicate its success.
1. Highly effective climate management
The importance of a comfortable temperature within an office environment has been highlighted by multiple studies, though none can quite agree as to what that temperature should be. ECommPay enables ambient temperature settings through climate management technology, which alternates between slightly warmer and slightly cooler than the 22°C recognised by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as the optimum temperature for office work . A warm environment, say researchers, stimulates creative ideas, whereas colder temperatures result in increased productivity.
2. Optimal lighting
The Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory analysed the effects of daylighting on building occupants, concluding that natural light contributes to energy levels and reduces fatigue . In contrast, artificial light is known to cause lethargy. ECommPay’s open plan office space is surrounded by windows stretching from floor to ceiling, tinted to prevent blinding sunlight in the summer while preserving natural light in the winter.
Relying on scientific research conducted by Cardiff University, which proved that introducing greenery into the workplace increases productivity by 15% , ECommPay employed a team of florists to decorate work stations with indoor plants and flowers. Green spaces are present throughout the office, from living walls in the corridors to ficus trees in meeting rooms, providing subconscious stimulants to keep employees energised.
4. Quiet spaces
A study conducted by YouGov found that 71% of office workers interviewed appreciated access to a quiet environment when their tasks required concentration and focus. For employees seeking a quiet space, ECommPay’s Relaxation Room offers comfortable armchairs and a no talking policy. Soundproof booths, ideal for making and receiving calls without unnecessary distractions, are located throughout Place Eleven.
5. Multipurpose workstations
Katz Interiors, the architectural design firm responsible for bringing ECommPay’s vision of the modern workplace to life, created custom furniture to enhance employee wellbeing and comfort. Employees have the option of adjusting the height of their desk, working in a standing position, or sitting on beanbags or fitness balls instead of chairs.
6. Communal areas
Encouraging collaboration between specialists across departments, ECommPay introduced what researchers from the University of Michigan termed “zonal areas.” The related study showed how social interaction between colleagues, both within communal office areas and outside the professional environment, improves performance.
7. Sport and exercise facilities
Most office workers lead a sedentary lifestyle. To promote health and wellbeing, as well as to increase social interaction among colleagues, ECommPay offers unlimited access to an onsite gym and organises various fitness classes, from yoga to boxing, for employees to enjoy. Companies unable to offer athletic facilities should consider providing free or discounted gym memberships, or organising athletic leagues. Sport is one of the most effective methods to strengthen team relationships and increase organisational productivity, claim researchers from Loughborough University.
Books inspire creative thinking, expand the vocabulary, and improve efficiency. ECommPay supplies a broad range of professional literature, as well as classic and modern novels, relevant journals, and general interest newspapers and magazines, in its corporate library. All employees are welcome to borrow books or to make requests for specific publications.
80% of respondents to a survey conducted by Fruitful Office reported feeling valued when a company provided fresh fruit in the workplace . ECommPay orders seasonal fruit and vegetable baskets, offering watermelon and grapefruit in the summer months and meeting demand for ginger and lemon in the autumn-winter period. The latter, though a simple solution, has significantly reduced the number of people suffering from colds this year.
10. Social activities
An infographic created by PGI based on extensive research shows that younger generations need higher levels of social interaction in the workplace, with 71% of Millennials looking to their colleagues to be a “second family” . With the largest portion of ECommPay’s 350+ workforce falling into the 26-34 age range, the company has dedicated considerable time and effort to organically develop an inclusive, engaging corporate culture. The circular lounge on the 12th floor of Place Eleven acts as the centre of ECommPay’s social life, playing host to cinema evening and board game nights, as well as celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions.
The combination of factors described above led to a noticeable increase in job satisfaction, not to mention the improvement to productivity levels. ECommPay’s marketing department alone have seen an 11% increase in the creation and distribution of editorial content over the past six months. Human Resources, meanwhile, report that the company’s weekly targets, each requiring interdepartmental collaboration, have been meet with 2.5 times the frequency as previous years.
ECommPay’s offices at Place Eleven represent the company’s inclusive, engaging professional philosophy, progressively evolving in accordance with the core values of the company. Focusing on employee health and well-being, the payment services provider increases team loyalty, encouraging staff to commit to the brand in the long-term. In providing the environment and opportunities for employees to grow as professionals and develop new skills, ECommPay collaboratively continues striving for success.
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