Ask Employees the Right Questions Before Planning an Office Redesign

Employee satisfaction in the office is crucial. Anything that drastically changes or affects the layout or other aspects also changes how employees interact with the space. However, if your office is due for a redesign, the first place to start is with your employees.

It’s beneficial to get employee input on office layout and other aspects of the office design. But how can you do this? You might consider using an anonymous paper or online questionnaire to get feedback from employees. If you’re not sure what questions to ask, that’s OK! We’ve put together some questions that you can ask your employees about their redesign ideas and more.


1. What Do They Like About The Current Workspace? 

The first question asks employees what they specifically like about their current workspace. Some may love certain colours used in the space or find the layout beneficial and more.

The reason for asking this question is to ensure those parts that are working well don’t change with the office redesign. Instead, good planning can include these, and you’ll save money by not having to change what’s already working.


2. Do Employees Prefer to Work Collaboratively or Independently. 

Next, it’s crucial to ask about the working style of your employees. The information learned from this question can have a major determination in the design choices for the space. Some companies may find that moving to an open-plan layout is better for their employees. However, this may not be the best choice for other offices.

If you would like an open-plan office layout, remember those employees who need a quiet place to work. Some employees have a hard time focusing in a noisy environment. So, it’s beneficial to create quiet zones where these employees can work according to their preferences.

If quiet zones aren’t possible, then it may be necessary to allow employees to wear noise-cancelling headphones as they work.

The goal is to create an environment where most people are comfortable and can work as they need and prefer.


3. How Important are Privacy & Transparency? 

Do your employees need and want privacy in the workplace? Then you may want to incorporate office partitions for the confidentiality some employees need for their jobs.

Glass partitions are a great option. They can distribute natural light and provide some level of privacy, too.


4. What is Missing from the Current Office Layout? 

Another great question to ask employees is to see what is missing from the current office layout. For instance, would you like to have comfortable seating in the breakout area? Would they like the space to have a homier touch?


5. Ask Employees What’s Not Working in the Current Layout

Don’t forget to ask employees about what’s not working in the current layout. You’ll receive input on what is not working, which is valuable information.

When something in the office doesn’t work right or comfortably, it can dramatically affect employees. So, correcting these issues can readily improve the space when you’re doing a redesign.


6. What Office Features Do You Need? 

Asking employees what they need is another great question for your office redesign. You may find employees lack specific technology that would make their tasks easier. You could also find that printers in the office aren’t working correctly, or that the meeting room isn’t comfortable enough.

All of this is valuable information that can be applied to an office update.


7. What are Your Workflow Needs? 

Another issue is the way workflow is affected by the current office layout. For example, if your office needs to become more collaborative, changing to an open-plan layout may be beneficial. However, it could be that employees need more spaces for private offices, meeting rooms or even breakout areas.

With this information, you can make improvements to the workflow that also give a boost to productivity and employee wellbeing.


8. How Much Space Do You Need?

Nothing is worse than not having enough space in the office. If employees feel cramped and crowded, it can be challenging to get anything done.

The recommended space allotment for each employee is between 125 to 200 sq. ft. per person. In addition, if some employees have changed over to working remotely, then you may not need as much space in the office. Unused space is expensive real estate you’re paying for each month.


9. Do Clients or Business Partners Visit? 

Why is this question important? Because if you have clients and business partners visiting regularly, it’s essential to provide them with space to work during their visit. This can also be beneficial for salespeople who may work out of the office most of the time, but who need space to work when they come to the main office.

In that case, you may want to ensure there are extra desks or tables where clients, guests, partners, and others can work occasionally.


10. Do Clients or Partners Have Special Needs? 

Do you have a comfortable waiting area for clients and partners? Does the space make it possible to work or make/take phone calls? Do you have a reception area set up for them? If not, then you may want to consider adding these features if possible.

Nothing is more welcoming than a space where guests, clients, and partners can wait and work if needed. Your company will make a great impression by having a comfortable, attractive waiting area for them.


Summing It Up

The goal of an office redesign is to create a space where most employees feel comfortable and can work effectively. You can gain valuable information by asking employees for their input before the office update even starts.

What’s more, information from your employees may show areas or features that work well. The company can save money by making only minimal changes to these areas, money that can be spent updating other parts of the office.

Including your employees in the office redesign also makes them feel valued and cared for. They also have a more vested interest in the office update. What a great way to also boost morale and productivity!

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