The covid philosophy of "remote working is here to stay" seems to have been and gone, with many businesses opting for more of a hybrid approach to the workplace.
We have seen many clients favour hybrid working which candidates have responded well to, preferring to have a mixture of remote and office-based days to make up their working week.
YouGov recently undertook a survey with 1000 office-based workers which found 48% of participants agreed that the look and feel of an office would impact their opinions on the company. They felt that the way an office appeared would reflect how the employer values their employees, culture and takes pride in the workspace provided. A reminder that first impressions do count!!
As a business we recently invested in our new head office. We wanted to invest in a space that our staff would not only find functional, but could and would use in a social and recreational way, for example, during our lunch breaks or after work. This balance was key to use and got us thinking…
Looking to make the most out of a space, our staff would not only find functional but will also allow them to enjoy during lunch breaks or to socialise after work was key to us and got us thinking.....how can office design impact well-being, recruitment and long term staff retention?
Well-Being in the Workplace
We are seeing more and more of the best candidates looking to join organisations that advertise themselves as employee-centric and supportive. You cannot advertise your business as putting employees first if you don't showcase robust benefits and incentives that prioritise employee's experiences in the workplace. This doesn't only have to come in the form of employee perks but also in the workplace environment your employees are provided.
Things to consider:
1. Does your workplace offer a suitable breakout space?
2. Could you play music or the radio in the breakout space...extending it even further into the work area if you wanted?
3. Do you have suitable meeting rooms or confidential areas for employees to use.
4. Could you offer games tables for people to enjoy during their lunch break (pool or table tennis)?
5. Do you shout about or host internal events? This could be anything from wearing red to raise money for Red Nose Day, lunchtime Diwali treats, or an easter egg office hunt etc
A few of many simple things you could do…
1. Offer a morning yoga class in the boardroom
2. Fill up a weekly fruit basket or healthy snack pot
3. Have a constant supply of tea, coffee, and milk ;)
3. Hold regular work events/activities that get the whole team involved e.g., a table tennis tournament
There are many ways to utilise your workplace to promote wellness and social
well-being throughout the week. These will ultimately help candidates and existing employees alike see you truly value their work and want to provide a unique working environment where they can kick back and take meaningful breaks!
The K2 survey highlighted that many participants found their current office environment dated, uninspiring and generally didn't create an enthusiastic environment for them to get excited about coming to work.
1. 32% of participants felt there was a lack of natural light
2. 30% of participants felt their office place lacked colour
3. 30% of participants felt there was a lack of space suitable for their lunch break often resorting to eating at their desks
4. 23% of participants found there to be a lack of private spaces whether this be for virtual meetings, a quiet space to concentrate without distraction or to take a confidential call.
While not all organisations have the luxury to move to a new premise (often tied into long term leases) the office design market has many emerging suppliers who can help tackle a number of these obstacles. Additional lighting features; semi-permanent meeting pods, café-style breakout tables, graphic vinyls are all simple and effective solutions which can add a huge amount of value and motivations to an employee's day (aiding employee retention) and we ourselves have utilised many of these features to create a vibrant workspace.
With the rise of dynamic co-working space such as We Works and Spaces, many candidates are looking for employers with long term premises which provide similar fun workspaces; with the traditional boardroom focused environments becoming a thing of the past.
Candidates look to interview with organisations that share their vision for the future and show they can adapt with changing tides. The workplace is often a candidate's first insight into an organisation's culture. Utilising an office design that can showcase this at a brief glance is not an impossible task.
The question is....are you willing to make a change and make the investment?