By Ana Castro, Operations Manager, Storey
Your office isn’t just your office. For eight hours a day, it’s the place where your employees direct most of their energy: it’s host to their individual and collective creativity and productivity. A good environment can get the best out of them and encourage them to stay for the long-term; a bad environment will do the opposite.
So how do you create a working environment that simultaneously inspires would-be employees to join you – and motivates current employees to stick around?
Accentuate the personal
It’s hard for employees to feel attached to a business without a distinct personality or brand identity. There’s far more to this than just painting a logo on the wall. Personalising your workspace is about infusing your physical surroundings with your brand values. Google employees don’t work in a drab, windowless basement with a broken coffee machine: they unite nap stations, slides, and secret gardens within a consistent aesthetic that constantly reminds staff about who they work for – and why they work for them. The best brands put a lot of effort into building company culture, and improve their staff engagement as a result.
If your business is expanding, it needs a workspace fit for expansion. A company that outgrows its premises will inevitably become overcrowded and its processes will become inefficient.
To do your brand and your employees justice, you need room to manoeuvre. Staff aren’t happy when they’re huddled three to a desk, and it’s unlikely to impress interviewees either. Accommodating the changing requirements of your organisation is absolutely vital: you might have enough private offices, meeting rooms, and recreational space now, but what about a year from now when you’ve hired more people?
Your workspace must be designed to adapt to your business as it evolves. Having more space means you have more space to breathe, and a level of malleability makes it possible for your company and staff to occupy a working environment that suits it – at all times.
Find the hub-bub
Sorting out the workspace itself is important – but it’s only part of the puzzle. Your surrounding environment can make a positive or negative contribution to your business’ desirability.
Being in a buzzing metropolitan hub certainly helps: places to eat, things to do after work, great amenities like gyms and cinemas, and convenient transport links. And businesses like to be near like-minded companies, where they can collaborate and thrive as a group.
What do your employees value – and how can you give it to them? As global marketplaces become increasingly competitive, this question becomes all-important. Employees and employers alike need to be able to take pride in their workspace: a flexible, brand-centric office in a buzzy environment can have dramatic, positive effects on productivity, creativity, staff retention, and by proxy, growth.