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Office Trends To Support Houston's Diverse Workforce

October 31, 2017

By Workspace Resource

Although we are proud to service markets across the nation, WorkSpace Resource does most of our business right here at home in Houston. And why not?

In recent years, Houston has continued to grow into a vibrant and diverse city that attracts a variety of new companies from a diverse base of industries. Business friendly policies have attracted companies to expand and even relocate their headquarters into Houston. Once dominated by the Oil & Gas sector, Houston has become a leader in a number of other industry sectors including Manufacturing & Technology, Aerospace & Aviation, Biotechnology & Life Sciences, and Distribution & Logistics. As for Headquarters, Houston currently ranks third among areas with twenty-six Fortune 500 companies based here.

While the pandemic might be subsiding, 73% of employees saying they want to retain the ability to work remotely. Designing an inviting and inclusive workspace is critical if you want to encourage employees to return to the office. Not to mention, if you want to attract job seekers during the "great resignation," business leaders will need to promote how they make inclusion efforts. Here are some office trends to support Houston's diverse workforce.

"Resimercial" Work Spaces

Houston's relaxed zoning regulations allow commercial and residential to co-exist easily. Throughout Houston you will find businesses who take this a step further, even as far as converting residential homes into office space. Even commercial spaces are trending toward a more relaxed style by opting for furniture with a more residential feel. With as much time as employees are spending in the office these days, it creates a more approachable and comfortable space that keeps everyone's eyes off the clock.

Unique designs

Many new companies that have expanded into Houston are taking the opportunity to use unique designs to support a people-focused culture. For example, the headquarters for Houston-based company Mattress Firm has amenities such as nap rooms, arcade games, swings, and a coffee bar. Additionally, companies are designing flexible spaces and open floor plans that allow for expansion, adaptation and change as growth continues.

Diversity of spaces

The variety of industries also brings a variety of employees to Houston, each with different needs and preferences for their workspace. Even within a single company, people occupying different roles may have differing needs. For example, many studies show that while innovation and creativity thrive in open workspaces, productivity still thrives in private work areas. For this reason, a marketing employee may prefer to spend time in a more collaborative area, while an accounting employee may need a more quiet space. Houston companies have responded to these needs by focusing on creating a diversity of spaces, including meeting rooms, private work areas, places to socialize and outdoor spaces.

Inclusive Design

An estimated 1 in 3 employees struggle with some disability that requires accommodation. Making your workspace more inclusive can be as simple as some smart design choices. Here are few guiding principles:

  1. Favor flexible use: Accommodate a range of preferences for different spaces.
  2. Require minimal physical effort: Reaching items, opens doors, and using storage should all require minimal effort.
  3. Create size and space: Narrow spaces aren't just bad for morale, they can be challenging to navigate for a number of disabilities. Ensure your office has plenty of space to navigate.

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