The UX of Office Energy

The Human Resources department (in most cases) is not the Office Energy department. Typically, no one is in charge of this crucial aspect of a company. When someone is visiting your office for an interview, they are noticing things such as:

  • Office layout
  • Types of computers/screens on the desks
  • Ceilings/Lighting
  • Energy/Collaboration
  • People Density
  • Chairs

If you looked around my desk right now, the energy would be pretty low. Not too many people, older Dell monitors, drop ceiling with fluorescent lighting and a mostly empty floor. This is not the impression you want to give prospective employees.

It’s like when you pass a bar or restaurant and look inside. You want to see happy people in engaged, energized conversations with good lighting. You want to give the impression of youth, energy and positive karma.

Yet, who is responsible for making sure that this is all true? In many companies the people who buy the carpeting and lights and the same people who call the landlord when the elevator is making a weird noise. These people have good hearts and intentions, but they are not empowered to spend more money to get fancy brick walls. In these cases, the CEO is the one who has to set the budget and priorities. For instance, why are there so few offices with artwork on the walls?

However, the people and energy aren’t the CEOs responsibility. It’s up to the local managers to make sure people are energized and active. I know it is a nice perk to work from home, but an empty office doesn’t inspire people. Do people show up at 10 or 11 and leave at 5pm? We don’t want to “clock in”, but high energy offices have people working longer hours.

There is a balance involved here. Money matters. Work-Life balance matters. However, I think people WANT to go to work when the energy is high. They need a strong, clear vision that they are excited about. They need co-workers who are professional and committed to the mission. Healthy company energy is a crucial factor in a business.

What should the title be for the person who is responsible for this? DO people with that title do this now? Is your office high energy? Does it matter?

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