A recent survey suggests that nearly 90% of workers around the globe are unsatisfied by their work environment, and when instilling corporate culture is a growing concern and focus of many businesses, that’s a statistic that needs to reflect the opposite.
The most prevalent demographic in the modern workforce is comprised of millenials (people who reached young adulthood around the year 2000) and another survey suggests that when millenials are engaged and interested in corporate culture and values, they develop a sense of loyalty towards their company.
So how can you enhance corporate culture and productivity through engaging workplace design? Here are a few helpful tips:
Open office spaces can help to create a sense of transparency, collaboration, and accessibility. The only issue is, these open concept offices don’t offer much in the way of privacy. By changing or altering your workplace design to reflect opportunities to collaborate one minute, and having a private space to work and reflect on their daily tasks the next, you’ll help to foster an increase in engagement and productivity among your staff.
Revamp your workplace design to reflect the ability for your staff to get up, and move around. This freedom to alter their surroundings will promote different types of productivity throughout different times of day, and through different types of assignments. In some cases, a task may require complete silence and concentration, other times it may include the use of a social hub. Don’t ignore the different requirements of different tasks by only offering one type of work environment.
Having this differentiation in workplace design allows your office space to be a place of resources, rather than an environment that forces people to engage with others in one specific way. Consider office renovations that adapt your existing space to include working ‘neighbourhoods’ where workers can come and go, collaborating with different individuals in each space who learn and work better in different types of environments.
Better yet, construction of open spaces with additional retreats can help to expose the freedom to work as one chooses. Include small nooks on the outskirts of your larger collaborative areas, so people can include themselves in the culture of your office, while having a separate space they feel is protected and relaxing.
Related to privacy, willfully creating paths for chance meetings is critical to ensuring that people are connecting and interacting with each other, while having a private space to retreat to. These pathways increase office familiarity, and conversations between staff that increase levels of corporate culture, and inclusiveness.
Environment is Key
With the modern pattern of many people opting to work remotely, having a physical space that is pleasant and inviting to spend time in, is integral to encouraging company culture and morale.
The modern office space needs to be lively and interesting, and should relate strongly to the company culture you’re hoping to inspire. This goes beyond perks like craft beer taps in the lunchroom, and creative company outings – the work environment needs to inspire people to feel as though their personal lives can integrate seamlessly with their professional self, allowing individuals to express themselves in such a way that adds to corporate culture. This integration of work and self will positively impact your employees, helping them to feel less workplace stress and more relaxed within a space that feels like their own.
Embrace large windows that lead to views of natural spaces, and be sure to bring plants and greenery into the workspace. One study found that an increase of exposure to nature within the workplace can enhance “workplace health promotion efforts,” and can intervene in incidences of workplace stress. Renovations to increase the size of windows and seating in spaces where workers congregate can help to decrease levels of stress associated with the workplace.
By simply adding plants to the workplace, one study found that anger and hostility were reduced as much as 44%, tension and anxiety were reduced by 37%, and fatigue was reduced by 38%. The study found that integrating one plant per workspace provides a large boost in staff spirits, and helps to promote well being and performance.
Spike the Mind
When constructing a conference room, build with openness in mind; show staff that there’s collaboration happening by placing your conference room(s) in an open, easily accessible space right in the hub of the office. This increases the visibility of activity, and helps to keep the mind awake, says one report.
Further, ensuring that your workplace provides easy access to technology increases the activity you’ll see fostered in your new space. Renovating your workplace design to be inclusive and tolerant of multiple ways of thinking, working, and interacting with others will mean that your staff will see the effort being made by their corporate entity to include this balance of professional and personal life into its daily grind. Giving your staff the freedom to work as they please is crucial of benefiting from increased productivity and positive corporate culture.