The impact of a lacklustre office environment on overall productivity is well documented. Unappealing workplace design also has a serious impact on your organisation’s potential to attract and retain the best employees.
Your office is one of the first and most memorable aspects of your business that clients and new employees experience, so it is vital to be conscious of what it says about you and your staff, as well as your company values and brand identity. If your workplace design is not showing off your company’s great culture, it is going to dampen the enthusiasm of every potential employee you interview.
From Generation Z to the Baby Boomers, the modern office is staffed by four generations, each with different needs and expectations. The key to keeping your office ready for the future is ensuring the flexibility to support your workforce’s varying requirements when it comes to communication methods and physical environment factors such as sound, light levels and temperature.
With one-size-fits-all office design rapidly becoming an outdated philosophy, flexibility is the most important component of great office design.
Use this quick checklist to see if your workplace is ready to attract and hold onto the best talent out there:
Flexible office design, often referred to as activity based workspaces, is a key component of your strategy for getting quality people.
- Do your layout and furniture allow for a variety of different work practices? What options do employees have when it comes to standing desks, informal and formal discussion areas and meeting rooms or quiet, private work zones?
- Does your technology support different ways of working and in different work environments? To what extent can employees work remotely?
- Is your breakout area an appealing place to be, or do your employees rarely leave their desks?
Some employees and roles require a space that allows for easy discussion while others prefer being able to work in a quiet environment, and it is vital that you are able to provide for both.
- Are you using soundproof materials and other strategies to prevent noise travelling across the office?
- Can employees use headphones to isolate themselves from distractions?
- Are employees able to work in areas separate from the main communal space?
Health and Wellbeing
Today’s workforce places a high value on employers who take the health and wellbeing of their people into account in their workspaces.
- Does the availability of natural light facilitate a circadian sleeping pattern, or are employees cut off from the outside world’s day and night cycle?
- Is artificial lighting harsh and fluorescent, or soothing to promote calm?
- What is the quality of air and airflow? Are employees able to control the temperature and airflow of their personal work area?
You would be surprised at how many organisations fail to provide enough easily-accessible power outlets when redesigning their office space.
- Are employees able to charge all of their numerous devices at once?
- Are enough power outlets available in all of your work areas to enable full use of your flexible work environment?
- Do you have a stock of batteries and chargers for Android and Apple devices, as well as any devices you provide employees such as wireless headsets?
Some of these points may seem like minor considerations that are not high on your list of priorities, but a truly excellent business knows the value of attracting and retaining the best talent available. If you are not happy with your answers to any of the above questions, it is time to face the issue and transform your office into the dream workplace of the most talented individuals in your industry.