The office space is increasingly seen as a tool to help recruit and maximise the best people within an organisation. In an ever competitive world it is increasingly important to attract the best employees that will have the right skill-set to help grow your business and move it forward. Keeping those valuable employees is even more important and having the right workplace environment, one that reflects your company culture and what you stand for as a business, can be a great asset to keeping staff happy, motivated and staying put. Here’s our top tips to creating an office environment that will help to attract and retain the best talent in your industry.
Create a happy working environment
By happy environment, we don’t mean that you need to rush out and buy a slide, a table tennis table, or heaven forbid, an adult-sized ball pool. Happiness is about creating the right culture and a sense of community, but there are certain office design elements that you can easily introduce into your workplace to increase the happiness and wellbeing of your staff. Simple things such as positioning meeting areas near windows and introducing bright, relaxing colours to walls and furniture can help to change the overall feel of a space. Consider refreshing furniture and introducing soft furnishings into the space to show staff that the area is cared for and is a ‘home from home’ environment. Plants can add life and clean air to an office so these can be a fantastic addition to any space. If you have access to an outside space then make it easy for staff to step outside into the fresh air. We spend more daylight hours in our offices than anywhere else so our workplace environment is bound to have a huge impact on our positivity and outlook.
Introduce activity-based work zones
You hired your employees for their individuality and skills so it is important to understand that everyone works differently. People are more productive in different environments depending on what they are working on at the time, by creating activity-based work zones within your office you can create different environments to suit different tasks, e.g. a quiet zone for working on individual tasks, or an informal meeting space to encourage collaborative working. When you employ great talent you want them to be collaborating together and coming up with the next big ideas, therefore it is important to create an environment that offers this fluidity. It is also valuable to understand how much of your office space is occupied, as believe it or not most offices are only ever 50% occupied, that gives a great deal of flexibility about how you use the space to best effect.
Encourage coffee breaks with designated break out spaces
Introducing designated breakout areas can make it easier and more acceptable for staff to take a breather away from their desks in a relaxed environment. Make sure there is easy access to filtered water and good quality coffee and tea so that staff are encouraged to use the space rather than going out of the office for fresh coffee on the High Street. Breakout areas can also be highly effective at encouraging accidental interactions amongst employees that can be hugely productive for your business. A premium office coffee experience (like TopBrewer) is certainly high on the list of things staff most value in the workplace so get this simple thing right and your staff will feel much more happy and valued.
Be flexible for a better work/life balance
Giving staff a choice about how and where they work, and making it easy for them to do so, can have a huge impact on staff wellbeing and work/life balance. Advancements in technology have made it so easy for employees to work from anywhere; whether that is at home, at the airport, on the train or in a local coffee shop, work can be carried out literally anywhere there is a good wifi signal. Although its advantageous to still have an office hub where staff can meet and collaborate, it may not be the best environment for some employees depending on their projects so the key is to make it flexible and give staff the option to choose where they work. A great employee will get their work done without their boss watching over them, and giving people freedom and independence will make them feel much more valued.
Increase employee satisfaction with a BYOD policy
BYOD (bring your own device) is a buzz word that has been floating around for a couple of years now but one that few companies cater for. The idea is that some employees, especially those that fit into the bracket of ‘Generation Y’ may prefer to use their own device for work purposes rather than using the certain brand of computer / laptop / phone / tablet / wearables / etc that you provide. Obviously there are some security challenges to overcome in order for BYOD to be successful but once these are ironed out it can be conducive to increased productivity and employee satisfaction.