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A Guide To Design New-Age Workplace For Improved Productivity Indian economy is not only setting the benchmarks in startup economy but also is redefining the interior industry.

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Due to favorable elements, India has emerged as the fastest growing start-up economy. According to the NASSCOM India Startup Report, Indian start-up landscape has witnessed tremendous growth and now India is among the first five largest startup communities in the world.

Why India's start-up ecosystem is booming?

>> Moody's credit rating raised India's credit outlook to "positive" from "stable".

>> Fitch, another leading credit rating agency, announced India's sovereign credit rating at "BBB' with a "stable' outlook.

This has clearly impacted the young entrepreneurs and have inspired them to invest in India.

With the influx of these new age entrepreneurs, Indian economy is not only setting the benchmarks in startup economy but also is redefining the interior industry. India's successful start-ups have specifically designed their offices to break-free from the traditional and conventional corporate set up. This is not only helping them to boost productivity but also engage employees at the work.

CHANGING TRENDS

The new-age entrepreneurs' plunge in the same age-group category. They prefer the offices that facilitate collaboration, provide a sense of personal space and offer a pleasant respite from hectic city life. Earlier, the only thing to retain the employees were compensation, however now what matters is creating an employee experience, a community and build a sense of connection with them.

With the growing startups and new age offices, there is an immense competition where retaining talented employees has become a major concern. For any start-up, skilled workforce is crucial for their success. Hence, the new age offices should evolve as a sanctuary of employees where they can work, share, innovate
in an improved manner.

DESIGN IT RIGHT

1. Offer a palette of place: Planning your space to allow for standing desks, private areas, collaborative spaces and lounge settings gives employees choice and control. Send the message that you trust and support your team to choose the Praveen Rawal, Managing Director, Steelcase India places and postures that best encourage productivity. Intentionally design other spaces that promote quiet, collaboration and fun, so that people can truly love the way they work. While designing for a range of spaces, include areas for your team to socialize.

2. Give wellbeing a thumbs-up: Employees feel encouraged to walk away from their desks, change postures or explore other work areas during the day. Demonstrate your commitment to wellbeing by offering access to natural light and your nod of approval when team members schedule walking meetings. It has been proven that working outdoors or near natural light improves creativity, productivity and engagement.

3. Create opportunities for privacy: The bathroom stall shouldn't be the only place workers have privacy. In many of today's workplaces, it's very difficult for individuals to find moments of privacy. This reality negatively affects stress levels, job performance and engagement. Hence, there should be spaces at work offering privacy as it remains important in the workplace for confidential discussions, quiet phone calls or times when we need to focus quietly, alone and helps to nurture thought process.

4. Create a "Third Place": During the last few years, work has become dramatically intense and the business tasks today are more challenging. Hence, employees need spaces where they can relax or work undisturbed. To provide such experience, some organizations have embraced the idea of Third Place – an informal working spaces like a cafeteria or a lounge that help people get through the day or allow them to gather, to have stirring conversations. The corporate cafeteria is an obvious place where a company can create a corporate third place and better leverage under-utilized real estate.

5. Integrated technology: Technology is front and centre in the workplace. Conference tables that can have plug and play ability, seats that have a docking system, and interactive whiteboards are a few examples of integrated technology in the workplace.

This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (August 2016 Issue).

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