Office Design Matters More Than Ever—Using UX Principles Can Help

Office Design Matters More Than Ever—Using UX Principles Can Help

By Sagi Gidali

It’s no secret that the pandemic completely changed the conversation about how we work and where we work. Employees now prioritize work flexibility, and companies that can provide it have the upper hand in attracting and retaining talent. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 68% of employees say a hybrid schedule is the ideal workplace model. This is especially true in the tech industry; Outsystems found that 50% of developers need a better work-life balance.

At my company, we wanted to foster an environment where a return to the office wasn’t a full-time requirement and doesn’t feel too buttoned up. We renovated our Tel Aviv office, which is in a building considered a historical landmark, to show our employees how invested we are in this culture.

Our most recent internal engagement survey found that our employees are 15 percentage points above average in Israel and the United States when it comes to happiness and productivity in the office. The data is clear: Our employees genuinely enjoy coming into the office. Those in-person connections are spurring innovation and productivity in the process.

My business background is in design, and the first hire I made at my company wasn’t a salesperson or a developer—it was a designer. We prioritized the design of our platform’s user experience (UX) and took the same approach with our regional headquarters.

How does the UX of a software platform relate to an employee experience in a physical office? These are the critical components that apply to both and that inspired our office renovations.

How to design your office space while keeping the employee experience in mind

Figure out your ideal customer profile

A successful UX is dependent on understanding your ideal customer profile (ICP). What you’re designing must answer the needs of your target audience so you can retain and grow it. For our office redesign, the ICP was our employees.

We started by keeping age demographics in mind. The average age of our employees is 36. However, by 2025, 27% of the workforce is going to be made up by Gen Z. They crave community and belonging in their workplaces. We created a setting that has both open spaces, as well as intimate work areas. Between meeting spaces that can hold 18 people, tables for 12 or six employees, or even private rooms, we wanted work areas that met the different needs of each team and age group. Employees can even go to our patio or our rooftop where they can comfortably work from their laptop.

By having a deep knowledge of your ICP, you can design an efficient UX. In this case, we used it to create a work environment that spurs creativity and collaboration—without sacrificing productivity.

Listen to feedback

Just as we would take feedback on a feature in our UX to improve its design, we did the same for our workspace.

According to The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, the younger generation prioritizes learning and development over climbing the corporate ladder. In our internal survey, 85% of employees said our physical workspace is enjoyable to work in (13% more than the benchmark of tech companies in the United States). We built a multimedia classroom to emphasize our focus on that. It includes microphones built into the wall, so our remote employees around the world can easily connect and listen in to lecturers and speakers in the audience.

We also have an auditorium that can host 220 at a time, spurring connectivity and work friendships. Gallup reports that only two in 10 employees say they have a best friend at work; that lack of connection impacts productivity. Our goal was to improve both facets.


Your UX will never improve if you don’t ask for feedback about the platform. The same goes for the employee experience in the office.

Own your brand

Your UX is unique to your organization; it’s directly connected to your brand. An important part of our brand is its history in Tel Aviv.

Our new building is directly connected to the story of Israel. It previously belonged to the Kibbutz movement, which The Jewish Agency for Israel describes as a revolutionary society that lived “in adherence to collectivism . . . alongside a cooperative character in the spheres of culture and social life.”

It was a place of shared resources, and we made sure to incorporate that legacy into our office. Between our cafeteria, auditorium, and collaboration areas, our space reflects the movement and emphasizes the importance of coming together. Some parts of our six-story building are fully renovated, while others are a tribute to Israel’s Kibbutz history.

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Low-touch engagement is a game-changer

Tech giants are building massive, high-touch engagements on their campuses. Microsoft’s revamped headquarters will have 17 offices, retail shops, restaurants, and sports facilities. But will it make employees more engaged and productive? Clive Wilkinson, who helped design Google’s sprawling campus, says the Google campus is dangerous and fundamentally unhealthy because it disrupts work-life balance.

In my first job as a designer, I quickly learned that a low-touch engagement system—one that is simple, fast, and easy to use—brings more value and volume to a company. I implemented that with our own platform, and the same approach was used in redesigning our office.

With several seating options, collaboration areas, a gym, and a cafeteria, we provide everything an employee might want or need throughout the day, but we don’t overwhelm them with gimmicks that cause them to ignore their work. They can decide where to work, how they work, and what makes an effective work day for them without feeling trapped inside the space. Our survey found that 85% of employees think our physical workspace is enjoyable to work in, and I believe the flexibility in our space is part of the reason for that.

Office design matters, and UX principles can help

Understanding how to improve UX was my guiding force in creating a better employee experience in the office. When enhancing your platform, you need to figure out how to make the customer’s life the easiest.

When redesigning our office space, we were solving the issues that impacted employee efficiency, creating a new environment that truly makes them want to step through our front doors.

About the Author

Sagi Gidali is a serial entrepreneur who creates, scales, and optimizes new SaaS solutions. Currently the CGO and co-founder of Perimeter 81, Sagi is leading a revolution to change the way we consume cybersecurity.


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