We are in the midst of a talent renaissance, and the competition is heating up. You'll have to work much harder now to set your company apart—to recruit, maintain, and motivate staff. Unless you're one of the few companies that have gone completely virtual, your office is an important component of the value proposition you provide to employees.
Getting employees back to work will be critical so you can connect with them, foster a culture of collaboration, and create an environment for people to embrace and commit to the organization. However, your office may not be ready for their return and you may need to make some adjustments to make it as safe and engaging as possible.
We've always believed that the office should be a lure and a location. It now has to keep pace with the home office on a more equal footing. It must entice them to walk through the door, leave their homes, and commute. Yes, exactly. The office will have to be renovated, rejuvenated, and even re-imagined in order to entice people back.
You don't have to make major or costly adjustments. They should also include a combination of physical changes as well as policy and practice adjustments. These will operate in tandem with the site to establish a culture that distinguishes you apart from the competition. Give careful thought and preparation to the experiences you'll create, regardless of the merits or scope of the adjustments you'll make.
Spaces that are both safe and appealing for an employee
- It's possible that your workplace isn't secure enough. Your office may have always been relatively clean, but with the increased focus on sanitation and germ transmissions, your workplace may no longer meet new (and long-term) employee needs and expectations. Furthermore, if you've made improvised adjustments for safety purposes, the workspace may be uninspiring. It won't create a welcome atmosphere if individuals find a warning tape spanning off-limits areas or workstations spread about in every direction for the division. It may be time to implement additional long-term safety modifications, such as rearranging layouts, introducing enticing boundary components, and altering atmospheric circulation. Add necessary safety features, but also make the space feel comfortable, accessible, and welcoming.
- It's possible that your office is lacking in vibrancy. Many companies are embracing hybrid work models, but one of the drawbacks of giving employees more options is the possibility of a loss of excitement in the workplace. When a large number of people are operating away from the office, the lonely work café or deserted workstations can deplete energy, making employees feel as if they've arrived at the wrong company. Consider how you may make your workplace more engaging and exciting. Colors, lighting, artwork, and spaces where employees can socialize with their coworkers are all interesting solutions. Consider establishing routines to bring in more individuals to the workplace on similar days. Teams can choose the days when face-to-face meetings are most beneficial, or team members can share their agendas and plan office time so they may meet in person. One company has established "alone together office hours," in which everyone in the office is invited to work in the atrium on specific days and times. Even if they're continuing to work alone in a shared location, they'll feel like they're with great company.
- It's possible that your workplace isn't engaging or motivating. If individuals see space as stimulating or inspiring, they feel more connected to others, which leads to increased involvement, performance, ingenuity, and retention. People's expectations for a fantastic work experience have risen, so if they weren't delighted with your facilities before the pandemic, they're likely to be even less thrilled now. Make spaces that are intriguing and encourage creativity—places where people want to spend their time. Give people a lot of options and variation in the workspace so they may finish their job in the best location for them. To avoid being stagnant, keep the space fresh and current. Encourage employees to work on your on-site office café or juice bar so that they can interact with new people and spark fresh ideas.
- Your workplace may not be conducive to the ideal kind of work. Your office may have been set up in the past to promote individualized, concentrated work at desks, and if you're like most firms, individuals didn't believe they had enough meeting rooms for collaborative work. Employees are more likely to come in for collaboration, connection, and co-creation in the future, if more work is done in a hybrid fashion and workers, are able to perform more of their respective work at home. It's possible that the dimensions of your room will need to be adjusted so that people have more opportunities to connect with coworkers. They will still require focus space in the office, so don't eliminate it, but consider allocating more of your architectural resources to areas that encourage interaction and collaborative development.
- It's possible that your workplace isn't designed with your health in mind. Mental health difficulties have been prevalent throughout the pandemic. It's a rare week when a new study doesn't highlight the pandemic's negative effects, such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, and decreased well-being. More research shows that well-being and engagement are mutually influential and that declining well-being is linked to remote working and social isolation. The interpretation is that a workplace that promotes happiness is also good for most people's mental health and engagement. As a result, general well-being has become a top priority for both employees and organizations. Workers will require spaces that promote their well-being, so you'll need to consider including places where people can refresh, recharge, and revitalize throughout the day. This could include offering access to natural light and views, as well as natural elements and wellness spaces for moral support or time out. There are numerous possibilities, and you may need to expand their availability in order to maintain the important platform on wellness as you entice people back.
Management and growth
- It's possible that your workplace does not encourage professional development, mentoring, or the building of social capital. People say they desire to return to work for a variety of reasons, including regaining a feeling of belonging, expanding their network, and nurturing relationships. Because of the year's gap, new generations and recruits, in particular, are yearning for this. It's possible that your workplace hasn't prioritized this type of support in the past, and now you'll need to give more opportunities for one-on-one and small group interactions. You can also attract individuals by providing possibilities for individuals to engage in unexpected and unanticipated ways, such as through work cafes, atrium, and casual seating areas.
- It's entirely possible that your office doesn't provide people with enough access to management. People desire access to leaders, which has always been a challenge because leaders are frequently in meetings and can be difficult to observe even when they are at work. Ironically, because of the capacity to communicate on camera, individuals may have had more access to remote leaders, which has raised their expectations. Issues of access may be worsened if the return incorporates hybrid working practices, as managers may be in the workplace far less than before. Individuals seeing leaders and colliding with them, on the other hand, is crucial. Employees want to feel close to their leaders, to be able to ask questions and to believe that their leaders are aware of the brand and their daily experiences. More interaction with leaders will be required by your office. You can achieve this by making it a habit for leaders to eat in the canteen or go to the same coffee shop like everyone else. Leadership spaces can also be made more open and visible so that others can see executives even while they are in private conversations or video conferences. You may also try putting drop-in workstations near leader areas so that people can work next to them.
There are many design options for the new wave of workers, and you'll find the ideal one for you. The biggest blunder will be assuming that what you have now is sufficient to get you where you want to go. You probably don't have all you need—and you can contribute to making your office a place where people want to work, where they feel happy and fulfilled, and where they can accomplish their finest work.
With FlexiSpot, you can build a workplace that not only fosters mental health but also their spine and joint health.