There’s an interesting paradox at work in today’s job market.
Technology means employees are expected to be accessible at all times. Increasingly demanding jobs mean longer office hours. The typical “9 to 5” is becoming more of a guideline and less of a rule. Work-life balance is becoming a luxury, not the norm.
But this is propelling a shift towards an employee’s market rather an employer’s market. This paradox has forced employers to find innovative ways to avoid burnout and maintain employee morale while ensuring staff remain inspired and enthusiastic.
Today’s business leaders know the importance of creating a workplace culture that taps into employee creativity and collaboration as a way to drive growth and success, and they recognize the employee experience as valuable tool in creating that culture. The best business leaders understand that the physical workspace is a key factor in that experience.
Here are five reasons why a thoughtfully designed office space helps keep employees engaged, enthusiastic and performing optimally.
The Happiness Equation
From a high-level perspective, it’s a simple enough equation. Employee well-being is strongly tied to productivity and performance.
Management means juggling personality types, egos and professional development, but the physical workspace is a common denominator in employee experience and well-being. If employees enjoy and feel comfortable in their working environments, they will be more engaged, productive, happy and healthy.
Variety is the Spice of Life
A team is as diverse as its employees – it can be comprised of introverts, extroverts, soloists, collaborators. Each employee prefers to work in their own way, and even this may change daily.
It’s important to create an environment that’s conducive to many different work styles and scenarios. Incorporating a variety of workspaces within a single office offers something for everyone and will help maximize productivity. A great office includes areas where people can work by themselves and be free of distraction, open areas for collaboration, and conference rooms for meetings that require privacy.
Everybody Needs a Breather Sometimes
On the contrary, spaces that allow employees to unwind, decompress and regroup are just as important as great workspaces. With an increase in work hours comes the increased risk of mental fatigue and stress.
Providing places for employees to escape office stressors will boost productivity in the long run. Whether it’s a quiet room, a ping-pong table, a TV, a couch, an exercise area or even just a good spot to eat lunch away from the desk, these areas can provide a much needed break – to socialize, to get some peace and quiet or to relieve eye strain from the computer screen or back tension from sitting still.
Embodiment of Culture in Workspace Design
Creating a workspace that embodies an organization’s culture will give employees a sense of identity to align with. An office space that acts as a physical representation of what the organization stands for will help employees immerse themselves in the company and get behind the brand.
Talent Management Made Easier
A great workspace will attract – and retain – great people. Gone are the days of the cut-and-dry cubicle-style offices. Employees want to be excited about their workplace and their organization. They want it to be somewhere they’re proud to be. Thoughtful workspace design will turn the office into a place where they want to show up to – not just somewhere they need to go.
The expectation of today’s employees is an elevated standard of output and they’re happy to deliver. But in return, they have their own expectations of what they want from their organization – and if they don’t get it, they’ll go find it elsewhere. For a business to truly thrive in today’s job market, its leadership has to prioritize the employee experience, and the physical workspace is a logical place to start.