In today's highly competitive job market, where an astounding 38% of individuals claim they intend to quit in the next six to 12 months, employers are wondering just how they can attract and retain top talent. One way to do this is to create a work environment that employees will enjoy coming into each day. Company culture, employee well-being, and other intangible factors —like a sense of belonging— constitute a critical portion of the work environment; office layout and overall design become the binding element to nurture a healthy work environment. Office design plays an essential role in this.
The physical office has a significant impact when it comes to employee morale. Excellently planned workspaces for the job and the people carrying out tasks are more conducive to high morale, productivity, and employee happiness, making the best talent more likely to want to stay.
The office environment should be functional and comfortable, with various spaces allowing creativity, collaboration, and more analytical, focused tasks. The modern office boasts different zones, straying away from the original open office with rows of cubicles to create a more dynamic office — not necessarily a labyrinth of individual rooms, but a space intelligently divided into sections.
Gensler's San Francisco office is a prime example of a modern office that positively impacts its employees. There are meeting spaces, breakout areas, conference rooms, collaborative spaces, cafes, and individual workstations granting the workforce options—flexible working is highly desirable for the best talent, who may have a wide range of working styles. Gensler compares this kind of distribution to 'The Neighborhood Experience,' which appeals to 62% of millennials.
Aesthetically-pleasing workplace design is another fundamental in attracting and retaining the best talent. Work settings that effectively communicate the company's brand reinforce its identity and make it easier for new talent to identify with the company. Similar to how lively and colorful work environments assist in motivating employees, the stale and outdated designs do not. Focus on leveraging natural light by adding greenery to further employee well-being and boost employee retention rates. In addition to purifying the air and generally enhancing human well-being and cognition, plants have biophilic qualities.
Attractive offices are, well, gorgeous. A transformational makeover may strain the company's resources, but long-term profit margins might suffer from significant personnel turnover. Instead of spending money on job advertisements, ongoing hiring procedures, learning curves, and low productivity, offices could improve to attract and retain present employees.
Let's delve into the different areas of the office in this collage of aesthetically-pleasing departments:
Aside from being well-equipped depending on the nature of the business, an attractive meeting or conference room is the birthplace of great ideas and collaboration. Inspiring design enables this, which benefits the company and makes the brainstormer in question feel valued and appreciated in their job.
Breakout areas are a great spot to enjoy a well-deserved break. One design hack that correlates with employee satisfaction and retention is to make these areas contrast to the rest of the work environment in terms of aesthetics. These areas visually remind employees that they are taking a break—think of increased productivity, a sense of value, and a sense of social justice. More importantly, they contribute to avoiding employee burnout. Be it for socializing or quiet time, these spaces need the right conditions–lighting, color, furniture, textures, layout–to immerse dwellers into a positive experience.
Yes, it's an overused cliché, but it is true that teamwork makes the dream work. The design of collaborative spaces can aid (or hinder) collaboration itself. Increased research into the connection between effective collaboration, aesthetics, and personality type would be highly relevant to employee retention.
Check out this luminous café area with Dauphin's Cempa chairs and mass timber features. The aesthetic denotes cleanliness and sleekness, another pair of desirable elements in an office space that aims to keep its employees in for the long haul.
Are you sure your office is well-distributed into different sections and the design is on point? If you're not convinced that the workforce isn't spending part of their day browsing LinkedIn for better opportunities, it may be time to look at the company spirit. Strong company culture, which is in great leaders, promotes an increased affinity between employees and employers.
Empathy, communication, openness, and adaptability are resounding traits identifiable in great leaders. Find out how to become a better leaderhere. According to the World Economic Forum, these leaders know how to implement an effective organizational structure that provides employees with the tools necessary for their emotional development and well-being, which today's top talent prioritizes.
Empathy comes from understanding and listening to what all great employees need. That primarily focuses on establishing and maintaining a fair work-life balance, as we have learned through the pandemic how the quality of life needs to be at the top of our priorities. It has highlighted those things that are truly important to us. As described by the Just Label, incorporating social justice indicators also heightens the value of a career prospect and encourages top talent to live and grow with the company in a bilateral affair that benefits both parties.
"Our office is perfectly designed. We have no organizational or structural issues whatsoever, so do you want to sign this employment contract for the next 50 years?"— said no employer ever. Being humble and open about any shortcomings in the working system and routinely reevaluating the status quo with input from the team is crucial to forging a meaningful relationship between employer and employee.
Humility puts employers and employees on the same level from a humanistic standpoint. It conveys that we are working together, and your contribution is necessary here, giving employees a sense of purpose and belonging. And don't forget the power of a simple Thank you for your work. You're doing great. In the absence of everything else, gratitude is a powerful propeller of positive change.
- VergeSense. “How Workplace Design Strategy Impacts Employee Retention | VergeSense.” How Workplace Design Strategy Impacts Employee Retention | VergeSense, vergesense.com/resources/workplace-design-strategy-employee-retention.
- Stull, Jane. “4 Workplace Experience Trends to Attract and Retain Talent | Gensler Wisp.” Wisp, 31 Oct. 2019, wisp.gensler.com/workplace-experience-trends.
- Conerly, Bill. “New Evidence That Low Employee Turnover Correlates With High Profits.” Forbes, 19 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2018/04/19/new-evidence-that-low-employee-turnover-correlates-with-high-profits/?sh=3482c42f138e.
- “Change the World: Become a Leader.” Change the World: Become a Leader, 10 Jan. 2022, blog.dauphin.com/change-the-world-become-a-leader.
- “Great Resignation: Here’s What Employees Really Want | World Economic Forum.” World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/02/what-do-employees-want-most-from-their-work-life-in-2022.
- “Just Overview - International Living Future Institute.” International Living Future Institute, 13 May 2022, living-future.org/just.