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Using office design to attract and retain the best talent

In today’s world, where the job market is candidate-driven, businesses are looking for the best ways to attract, and more importantly retain, the best talent. Good salaries are no longer the main draw for modern workers, they also expect flexibility, development opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, the right workplace environment. Read on to find out how to design your office to attract and retain the best talent…

When interviewing job candidates in your office it’s important to give a good impression, as it will likely leave a lasting impact. The office needs to be somewhere they can see themselves spending a significant chunk of their time, so a dated office with old, fraying furniture, bland colours and stained carpets isn’t a good start. Nobody wants to work in a place where they feel unproductive and uninspired. In order to get the best from your employees, both in terms of productivity and loyalty, providing them with a well-thought-out and well-designed office is a great place to start. The most recent Leesman Index found that only 55% of workers feel their workplace enables them to work productively, which can impact their wellbeing as well as productivity and company success.

The physical environment in which your employees work can have a huge impact on their experience and productivity at work, and investing in your space will not only help attract the best candidates, it will also help the success of the business. A carefully thought out, modern and comfortable office is expected as standard nowadays, and a badly-designed space may put potential employees off working there, so the importance of getting it right should not be underestimated.

One size does not fit all

Workplace design is something that needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis. Every organisation is different, and the ideal workplace will vary from company to company and even team to team. It’s important to take the culture, working practices and employees into account when designing an office space. The employees are often overlooked when designing a space, and it can be easy to let the designers run wild and end up with an office that looks fantastic, but isn’t the best use of space or resources for your team.

Some aspects of office design will appeal to every type of company, for example a great coffee offering and adequate lighting, but other things are more specific to the company. Rather than assuming you know best, if possible allow your employees to have a say in the process. Hold regular meetings throughout the design process to find out what they actually want from the space or what they think the office is missing. A good office will be a reflection of your company culture, which will give potential employees an idea of what it’s like to work there and will also help keep the best talent around for longer.

Focus on Wellbeing

The design of your office should place importance on the health and wellbeing of your employees. Years of studies and research have proven that employee wellbeing can have a direct impact on company success and growth, and the design of a workplace can massively impact wellbeing and productivity. In a 2017 study carried out by Soma Analytics it was found that FTSE100 companies prioritising employee engagement and wellbeing outperform the rest of the FTSE100 by 10%. Knowing their emotional and physical wellbeing is being taken care of can act as a huge draw for potential employees. There are many ways your design can prioritise employee wellbeing, and it can often be incorporated retrospectively or on a budget.

For starters, don’t overlook the basics, such as lighting, acoustics and the colour scheme. Poor lighting can impact brain function and lead to headaches, blurred vision and eye strain, so let the sun shine in and provide quality lighting in the dark corners of the office. Adding elements of biophilia throughout the office, such as incorporating natural materials and colours or adding greenery and plants in the office can add real value for employees. According to the Leesman Index, only 30% of office workers are happy with the noise levels in their office, and this can have a big impact on productivity and wellbeing, so take this into account when designing the space.

What your employees eat throughout the day powers their brain and can impact their health and energy levels, so consider offering healthy snacks and working a great coffee experience into your design. We know from extensive research and client feedback that high-quality coffee is not only an important perk to offer in the workplace, but can also have a range of health benefits and enhance productivity, so investing in a high-quality coffee machine, such as TopBrewer, will help improve employee wellbeing.

Keeping your current team happy, productive and inspired and showing potential employees that they will be well cared for and valued is a sure way of attracting and retaining the best talent.

Technology is the Future

Advances in technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the way we live and work. Technology infiltrates every part of our lives, from the computers we use at work to the smartphones and virtual assistants (such as Siri or Alexa) we rely on daily. IoT technology can be easily incorporated into workplace design to enhance the employee experience and technology can be used to optimise the workspace and enable better interaction and productivity for your team. Click here to learn more about smart buildings and smart workplaces.

The newest generations entering the workforce have grown up with technology and expect it to be used consistently and thoughtfully in the workspace to improve processes, increase productivity and enable interaction and collaboration. Making technology a cornerstone of your office design will help your company appeal to the best new talent and will improve productivity and engagement with existing employees.

Flexibility is key

Just as great office design can change drastically between companies, it can also vary between teams and employees. Everyone works best in different ways and is at their most productive in different environments, and it’s important that this is acknowledged when designing an office space.

Activity-based working is built on the idea that employees can, and should, move between different workspaces depending on the work task they are working on. Different areas or zones throughout the office are set up for different types of task, for example there may be an area for meetings, an area for individual work and a space for teamwork and collaboration. The creation of diverse work environments will help attract staff and drive performance and creativity.

It’s all about the Experience

In the modern world, with the technology we use on a daily basis, we can work from almost anywhere, so the workplace experience plays a big role in enticing employees to enjoy working in the office. A well-designed space and great office experience can help inspire and motivate employees.

We spend 8-10 hours per day at work, so if you want to get the best out of your employees, they shouldn’t feel like heading into the office is a chore. To keep your staff engaged and to entice the best talent to your company, your office needs to be somewhere they want to work from. Making your office a destination and providing facilities that enable and support personal and professional development will help this. When focussing on the workplace experience of your team, there are certain facilities and experiences that a modern employee expects as standard, such as a first-class coffee experience, a focus on employee wellbeing and adequate technology, so ensure these are part of your design.


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