When it comes to high-priority investments, workspace design tends to (mistakenly) fall somewhere at the end of the list. Workplace improvements are thought of as a luxury, or something that is done as a result of success, but not a means of achieving it. This way of thinking can end up costing your company. To make our point, we’ve listed a few crucial ways that an out of date office can actually cost your business:
The cost of losing customer confidence
When it comes to winning over new customers, first impressions matter – a lot. An outdated workspace fails to inspire much confidence in your customers, especially if there’s a big gap between you and your competition. If your tools or working materials look out-of-date, you can expect it to have an effect on how customers perceive your business.
As far as your customers are concerned, your business can’t be thriving that much if your carpet and chairs haven’t been replaced since 2000. But aside from the image your company is projecting, employee performance, which is heavily impacted by workplace efficiency, is another factor of gaining customer trust and confidence.
The cost of disengaged employees
Just like an outdated office is less likely to inspire confidence in your customers, it’s also less likely to engage your employees. The facts are out there, and people are powerfully effected by their office environments.
Your office influences employees in a number of ways, including stress levels, distractions, or how much they inspire.
One of the reasons employees feel disengaged or look for different employment is due to inadequate or outdated resources, or the workplace doesn’t support how they prefer to work. If you think an out-of-date work environment is contributing to low employee retention, that’s a big price to pay.
Just look at the average turnover costs your company will pay:
- 30-50% of an entry-level employee’s annual salary
- 150% of a mid-level employee’s annual salary
- 400% of a high-level or highly-specialized employee’s annual salary
After looking at those numbers, it’s definitely worth accessing whether your office design is supporting how your employees prefer to work.
The cost of outdated technology
Loss of productivity, security risks, and decreasing your talent pool because Millennials expect updated technology – there’s a lot of reasons why outdated technology in your office costs your company. However, this isn’t to say you should update your tech simply because it’s new. Every year, hundreds of new products come on the market, and not all will justify their expense. A smart evaluation of how your employees use technology and knowing what’s really lagging will help you make the best investment.
It’s also important to acknowledge that more than ever, team members fulfill their desire to connect with others by using technology. How your workspace is set up is an important factor in how accessible and easily shared your technology is.
What are some examples of up-to-date technology in the workplace?
- Updated computers, tablets, and other work tools
- Bluetooth headsets or speakers
- Virtual desktops – accessible remotely or from any computer
- Furniture that offer flexible platforms for using and displaying technology
- Specialty accessories related to your industry to boost productivity
- Good wire/cable management
- Ergonomic furniture
The cost of low productivity
When was the last time you reconfigured your workstations?
As work processes evolve, team sizes grow, and the needs of your company change, your work space has to adjust to better serve these changes. Neglecting to do so can lead to cramped working conditions that lead to more workplace distractions, or layouts that just aren’t meshing with your workflow. Interruptions often contribute to errors, creating quality problems and re-work.
A study by Basex, revealed that three to five hours of a typical work day is lost to interruptions. You can take that number and do the math yourself to see the cost that ends up translating into on a yearly basis.
One way to boost workspace productivity is to make sure there’s an appropriate space for every kind of task being performed. You can do this by creating workspace “zones” that align with different styles of working. Some important zones to create include:
- Quiet focus areas for concentration
- Collaborate spaces for brainstorming and solving problems
- Areas for lectures or team meetings
- Break areas for socializing or decompressings
Now that we’ve shed some light on the cost of an outdated office, perhaps making some updates will be higher on your list of priorities. In order for your company to really excell, you have to give your team the right foundation and environment to do their best work.