Your Business Environment The purpose of any business facility is to enable and enhance work, production, and information or communication flow. The key to smart facility design is in understanding the flow and the tasks and processes required to accomplish your objectives. Though general principles may apply to any business within an industry, your business flow, tasks, and processes are unique because your product or services, your employees, your environment, and your customers are unique. Determining how you work, how you produce or serve, and how you communicate information to each other and your customers lead to smart design decisions for your business facility.
Flow, Tasks, Processes Flow is how your business works on a daily basis. It is the collective efforts performed in your business to produce goods or services. To understand flow, it is helpful to analyze the tasks and processes that comprise flow. Tasks are major functions that your business performs. Processes are the activities performed to accomplish each task. An effective way to articulate your business facility needs in terms of its flow is to evaluate and analyze your tasks and processes using a three-step method. First, identify how your flow works as it is right now. What tasks do you and your employees perform for your business to operate? How does each task flow into the next? Second, identify processes required within each task for the task to be accomplished. Third, analyze your tasks and processes to determine which ones work well and which ones can be improved upon. The diagram below may be helpful for such an exercise. We encourage you to evaluate the flow, tasks, and processes of your business so that together we can identify opportunities and constraints that will help in designing your business facility.
Your Employee Needs and Environment Your employees are the engine that keeps your business going. It is valuable to consider employee needs and the culture of your business in relationship to your facility. In what environment, and in what manner, do your employees get the job done? Do they interact with each other frequently? Do they interact with customers? Does your business require or benefit from team projects? Is communication informal, through scheduled meetings, or both? What hours do employees work? Do they work in a controlled environment or move in and out of environments? Numerous studies support that certain features of a well-designed workplace environment will enhance employees’ sense of well-being, efficiency, productivity, positive attitudes, job satisfaction, and will help minimize employee turn-over rate.
From “Creating a Thriving Workplace” by Pizag “What is a thriving workplace?
Different people give different answers:
- Business leaders say it enhances productivity and communication.
- Marketing experts say it reflects the organization’s values and brand.
- Health professionals say it’s healthy and ergonomic.
- Designers say it boosts creativity and innovative thinking.
- Psychologists say it inspires people and makes them feel valued.
- And many of us say it’s fun to work in and makes us proud!
In fact, a thriving workspace is all of these and much more! Research shows that the space around us shapes how we think, feel and act, and can help us realize our full potential.”
Your Customer Needs Your customers are why you are in business. How do you interact with them? Do they come to your facility frequently, periodically, or is your point of connection primarily electronic? How much time do you spend with each customer during a typical interaction? Which of their needs are you trying to meet? What branding, or impressions, are you trying to instill in your customers when they interact with your business?
Considering these topics is a great starting point for conversations that will help lead to smart design decisions. We look forward to partnering with you in your project.