Do un-conventional office spaces with play rooms equipped with Ping-Pong tables boost productivity and employee morale?
Many business owners get jealous when thinking about the Google offices. At these web-engine giants offices it is very common for the Google employees to have access to anything from bicycles to pool tables. Since then many small businesses followed Google's example jazzing up their offices with amenities like billiard tables and gyms - just to name a few.
Are you as a business owner looking for ways to improve employee morale and boost productivity? Are you wondering if adding features like Jacuzzi tubs and tennis courts will help?
Today's offices are based on a hierarchical organization. The "workers" belong in cubicles and managers residing in offices towards the outside with large windows overlooking parks and water features.
These conventional work environments do not encourage employees to think outside the box. Today, it is believed that unconventional offices with ping pong tables will help the productivity and creativity of employees, and that a fresh perspective will help promote innovative thinking.
Case studies have been done by dividing employees into two groups. Team #1 worked in an ordinary office, while Team #2 worked in a 'game room'. When the results came back it showed that Team #2 was actually more productive and returned with more creative solutions to business challenges.
A business professor from Harvard Business School supports this research. The gathered findings over the years show that encouraging teamwork, fun and spontaneity is extremely important to innovation.
When our clients ask us how to design their office space, we usually recommending to create an environment combining un-conventional and conventional approaches alike, says Mike Schnippering, founder of Feng Shui At Work.
There have to be traditional work spaces or cubicles, where employees can get their daily work done. The non-traditional offices, such as a ‘dream spaces' with inspiring views and interior design, are used for top producers and small groups that will help them to work un-interrupted and help to be creative.
When it comes to improving the productivity of employees there is no answer in general. Great leadership is most important! Managers need to find venues to motivate employees with what they say and do - furniture and décor is just one part of it.
When it comes to bring the element of ‘fun' like ping pong tables into a work space you will find out quickly that nobody is using them. Ping Pong tables will turn out to be more of a monument to what the business is trying to portrait. In reality encouraging pool tournaments is not going to help any company achieving higher revenues.
Many companies have asked me if re-designing an office in a way that it is more un-conventional will improve results. Today, management often believes that just by adding ‘fun' zones productivity will increase. Wrong! Just to take this approach, introduces again the philosophy that ‘one office idea fits all'.
For instance, just recently we designed a sales office in Dallas, Texas according to the principles of Feng Shui. After we did the complete Feng Shui Calculation based on the Sitting and the Facing of the space we learned which colors and materials to introduce, and even more important what we need to avoid, to create an environment conducive to success. Based on this range of energy enhancing aspects we had conversations with each individual top producer of the organization. The willingness of management to personally involve each one of the Top 10 sales people created a level of excitement which is rarely experienced. Learning from these top producers how they felt about their soon to be created work space taught us that the ‘one fits all approach' is not the way to go. If you want to create a productive environment, it is far more important to involve each individual employee asking for input and ideas - creating a sense of ‘ownership' for results. Using a Feng Shui Consultant is not just hiring an interior designer to turn an office into a game park - yet interior design based on Feng Shui definitely works!
The spaces we created were so individual in out-come based on Feng Shui and the individual employee - an outcome you will never achieve by just adding ping pong tables in order to appear "hip"