They say that a company is only as good as their employees. And regardless of salaries paid or how well colleagues get on, quality employees are only going to stay with a business if they feel like they are being productive, feel like they are achieving and that they are supported by the company.
Happy employees also like to be proud of the company that they are working for, and one of the keys to all of this is having a well-designed office.
Experts at Keystone state that “trendy, open collaborative spaces are well suited to creative companies” and “warehouse-style buildings that sometimes keep original and exposed features, make for interesting and fun places to work”.
So, whether you are choosing an office to start your business in, or looking to relocate, it is important that you pay attention to the design of the office and consider how your specific business will suit the space.
The Importance of a Well-Designed Office
According to research by Leesman, only 55% of employees around the world said that the design of their workplace enables them to work productively. This shows just how important office design is to people – and how many businesses don’t seem to take it seriously enough. By not concentrating on office design, it seems like many companies are missing a trick.
With the growth of technology and creative industries especially, we are seeing a greater importance paid to the design and layout of offices. Staff are increasingly expecting to work for companies that treat them well, offer them flexibility, inspires them and gives them every opportunity to perform at the top levels.
It follows on to suggest, therefore, that if you are hoping to attract and retain quality employees, especially if you are in a competitive industry, you need to ensure that your office layout and design is conducive to this.
What does a Well-Designed Office Entail?
Unfortunately, designing an office which will retain your best employees isn’t as easy as putting in a pool table, some bean bags and a gym. There’s more to it than that.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when designing your office to ensure that your best employees want to stay with you long term.
1. Ensure that it is safe
No-one should be worse off for going to work and there are office standards which should be adhered to. Make sure that your office is a nice place to be and healthy place to be, with good working conditions. This means including aspects such as temperature control, good lighting, ergonomic or standing desks, noise reduction, the space to move around, a place to destress, kitchen and shower facilities, for example are all available.
2. Think about what they want
One of the most important factors to think about when you are designing your office with retaining good employees in mind is who these people really are. Think about what is important to them – do they want to work on their own without distraction or do they want collaboration to be central to what they do?
Is having the flexibility to move around important to them or would they prefer to have their own permanent desk and workspace? Or is having the latest technology incorporated into the office important to them or are they happy with more traditional working methods?
Different people put importance on different aspects of the office and if you are hoping to retain your best staff, you need to understand what it is that is important to them.
3. Not everyone’s the same
The idea of designing your office to be perfect for what your best employees want is all well and good. However, what if they don’t all want the same thing? Quite often, creative types might want to work in a collaborative way, but your HR or accounts departments don’t. This is why it is important for your office design to be adaptable, flexible and multi-dimensional.
4. Added bonus
In addition to keeping your best staff happy and productive, your office design can massively affect the company culture across the board. This means that you can enhance the dynamics in the office and help to shape the way that it runs on a day to day basis. It can help to instil your company values and keep them at the front of everyone’s minds.
They say that investment in your employees is the best investment that you can make. In addition to the value that a quality employee can bring your business at the time, the cost of losing them, re-recruiting and training can far outweigh what you might spend ensuring that your office and company culture is somewhere that they would want to stay.
About Ella Hendrix
Ella Hendrix is a guest writer for Forster Inc. and also a versatile freelance writer, typically focusing on workplace productivity, office trends and business affairs. In her spare time, you’ll catch her hiking up a hill or in a café with a sci-fi novel.