How your office design impacts your engagement and retention

How your office design impacts your engagement and retention

According to research from Crown Workspace, 68% feel that office design impacts on their engagement and ability to retain talent.

Instinctively, you may assume that a simple redesign of the office is the natural solution. Though, with many different stakeholders internally involved – all with different priorities – it can be a mammoth exercise.

The office moving and space planning company conducted their research with 500 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business owners in the UK and found that only 20% of the C-suite will take charge of an office redesign process.

Therefore, 80% of senior executives are missing out on key decision making when it comes to their office refurbishment.

Simon Gammell, director of Crown Workspace, said: “This is a scary fact. The C-suite needs to lead from the front and be involved in key decisions that affect their workplace. Businesses that do not attract and retain the right talent are usually not successful. However, the benefits of C-suite involvement in office redesign extend beyond recruitment, to benefit the business in ways companies might not expect.”

Which office designs are best for boosting productivity?

Research from Canada Life found that employees working in open-plan offices are more prone to developing unhealthy behaviors such as overeating due to workplace stress (48%) and are 50% are more likely to make unhealthy food choices than those working remotely.

Office surroundings should be a top priority for C-suite to ensure that talent is retained and that staff are continuously productive. Business News Daily says that office designs should be carefully considered.

Warren Bricknell, managing director at Dale Office Interiors tells Business News Daily: “Creating different workspace environments within one office adds great flexibility. Having quiet areas, collaboration areas and sometimes even game areas can really help employees to perform at their best. It's about having choice to work in a way that best suits the task on hand.”

Why is it so important for senior staff to be involved with redesigning the office?

It is quite likely that senior managers don’t know their staff as well as they think they do. By conferring with employees about proposed office designs - before anything is formally set in stone- they will be more able to cater to the needs of their employees. From a financial point of view, it ensures that the money invested into the new design is well spent.

“Senior management should be involved with the project from the get go”, says Hugh Prissick of Storey Projects, a project and cost consultancy firm based in London.

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“By doing this, the project team will get better buy in from the core decision makers and there is often little change to the brief, design, cost or timescale of the project further down the line. This ultimately makes the project more time-efficient and cost effective.” 

A study produced by New-York based non-profit organization, Catalyst, found that the more leadership teams included employees, the more innovative they were in their roles and more likely to ensure that their deadlines were met which, of course, benefits senior mamanegrs too.

Here are five ways to create a workplace devised for optimum productivity.

  • Delegate a space for relaxation – Providing a place for employees to escape office stress. This can be a great informal space for casual meetings and catching up with colleagues over lunch.

  • Offer quiet spaces for private work – Sometimes, you just need a place in the office where you can get some peace and quiet and crack down on your workload.

  • Invest in better technology – Quicker Wi-Fi or touchscreen tablets will enable employees to work remotely. Offering the best technology that your company can afford if key to retaining talent.

  • Provide access to natural light – If employees are spending considerable amounts of time cooped up inside offices, they may be snoozing by lunchtime if the office is dull and dreary. A bright and airy room makes employees happier and more productive.

  • Add artwork – Making the office easier on the eye can inspire and motivate employees. Motivational quotes are usually quite effective for boosting motivation and productivity.

So, if you are reading this from the depths of a dark and dingy office space, perhaps your office is in desperate need of a redesign. If you part of the C-suite, consult with your employees to see what is important to them and act on it to ensure that your workforce is happy and motivated. If you are not in a managerial role, highlight redesign suggestions to your manager. After all, a happy office breeds a happy workforce.

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