Dear Rebecca,

I’m a 37-year-oldfirm administrator.

Our firm ismoving from a boring suburban office to a cooler, downtown location. A lot ofour people - especially the ‘next gen’ employees - are excited about the move.

I’ve been askedto help design the new space. In surveys with our staff, the younger staff saysthey want things like game rooms, free drinks, and cooler break rooms.

Is there anyresearch that shows the impact these would have on productivity? I’m willing totake these ideas to our partners, but I want to have the numbers to back it up.


Design Diva

Dear Diva,

A couple yearsago, we moved our team into a cool downtown building, and we had to narrow ourlist to the biggies: things the team would love, and would serve the firm. Herewere the biggies we came up with:

-Naturallight. Employees who work in natural light are more productive. Even if youcan’t get everyone next to a window, you can replace the bulbs in your officewith those that have a fuller spectrum of more natural light.

-Fresh air. We found an office where thewindows actually open, and we’re located right on a bikeand walking path. We know that when employeescan step out for some fresh air, they come back to their desks morerejuvenated. (We also sometimes have “walking meetings.”)

-Greatchairs. As our bookkeeper said, “A happy butt is a productive butt.” We chose abrand that offered fun colors, and let the staff choose which colors theywanted. This way, they could personalize their space a bit.

-Unlimitedwater, snacks, and a full kitchen. Water and snacks keep everyone hydrated (andaverts headaches.) The full kitchen was designed to be a meeting area...wherewe could eat lunch together, and kibbitz.

-Agreat paint job. Your office space - it’s color, lighting, etc. - makes animportant impression on your clients and your staff. You want people to beproud of their work environment, and you want clients to be impressed as well.

-Wiiand Rock Band. We work very hard. And we need to play sometimes, too! So webought this and set it up in the conference room every month for “Beer-thirty.”We’d stop work at about 3:30, open some ice cold beers or soft drinks, gatherin the conference area, unplug, and rock out. (We like Rock Band becausemultiple people can play it.)

About theblogger: Rebecca Ryan is a consultant who helps firms develop and keep theirtop talent. http://nextgenerationconsulting.com/.