Employees who enjoy their physical work environments are more likely to be productive, engaged and happy.
According to CIO, Gartner states that organizations supporting a “choose your own work style” culture could boost employee retention rates by 10% in 2020. With employees changing jobs more frequently than ever before—and keeping in mind the huge impact this has on a company’s bottom line—understanding the trends in what employees are looking for can help you create a happy, productive workforce that wants to stick around.
Space Design as a Way to Drive Employee Engagement
How well do you know the work styles and preferences of your employees
While the traditional workplace is built to be a one-size-fits-all, any given office hosts a range of job functions, personalities and habits. Take the marketer who, over the course of a day, might brainstorm with team members on new initiatives, work with another department on external events, and require alone time to create new material. Another example is the customer support representative, who on the same day takes critical customer calls and has an informal catch-up session with his manager.
Even within similar job functions, individual preferences for a type of workspace exist. Some people seek peace and quiet for things like reading, writing or analysis, while others may find the stimulation of nearby activity energizing for this type of work. To cater to these varying functional needs and preferences, many companies are incorporating principles of activity-based working into their office design.
For example, activity-based working ditches rows of cubicles for separate areas purpose-built for different tasks. This may include multiple types of desks for independent work, such as long rows of desks or cubicles, private booths for phone calls, conference rooms with TV screens for meetings, or lounges for impromptu conversations. Rather than assigning employees to individual work areas, activity-based working lets employees choose based on the type of work they are doing and their preferences for carrying it out.
Implementing office hoteling can help to incorporate principles of activity-based working into your workspace design.
Setting Up Remote Workers for Success
Employees not only want to choose their work locations, they also want to be productive when working remotely. As remote working becomes more and more common, arming employees with the right tools and best practices is an increasingly prevalent focus for workplace strategies.
A critical piece to making remote workers successful involves implementing the right technology. Employees need to be able to collaborate with workers in different locations in a way that closely mirrors an in-person meeting. Investing in an integrated video conferencing system with screen sharing capabilities accomplishes this.
When video conferencing—rather than making a phone call—workers can see and respond to facial expressions, creating a more personalized, collaborative environment. Screen sharing enables employees to present what they are seeing to other participants. Using this, employees can be sure that everyone in the meeting is seeing the same information and can follow along.
Communicating via video conference also creates a more personal and productive meeting experience, while allowing employees far away from each other to more easily build rapport. For employees to get the most out of this tool, set a standard of always turning video capability on during meetings and encourage them to embrace this new tool.
Focusing on Mission Critical Activities: Integrations
Depending on the day, employees often spend a considerable amount of time performing activities outside of their job functions. Whether booking meetings, tracking down internally shared information or even getting their computer fixed, these activities take time away from the employee’s responsibilities and can result in hours of lost productivity.
Employers are increasingly looking for ways to minimize these extra tasks so that employees can focus their time and energy on reaching company goals. One prominent way is to provide a more seamless technology experience, where functions employees need are integrated into existing tools.
For example, integrating room scheduling software into a familiar email client such as Google or Outlook can reduce the time used to book meetings down to seconds, and with thousands of employees booking sessions each week, the time savings add up. This is why employers are now putting office technology at the top of their list when it comes to improving the employee experience. With easy-to-adopt technology that fits seamlessly into employees’ existing workflows, offices are more likely to see dramatic increases in their productivity.
All employees have limited energy and want to be focused, productive and successful. Investing in technology that empowers them to focus on reaching their goals will make your workplace an environment where they can realize their potential, and ultimately will want to stay.
Work is More than a Desk
How an employee engages with their workspace goes beyond the desk where they sit. Their experience encompasses everything from their physical space to how they engage with their peers to the technology they use every day to get their work done. When revisiting your workplace strategy, make sure to keep these critical trends in mind for 2020. Otherwise, your workspace may end up working against you.