A physical office environment’s impact on employee retention and productivity is tremendous. There are several different ways to be unique and create a space where employees can exceed their goals. Take into account these options when updating or creating a new office design.
This can be different for each employee, so it is essential to include a variety of workspaces. The standard cubicle or open office is great for collaboration and keeping people together. However, private offices are also good for those who need a quieter setting to feel productive. In both of these environments, consider including standing desk converters to promote health and wellness in the company.
For a more relaxed workplace, including couches where people can get comfortable while working. Many people like to move about and change up their environment during 8+ hour days; this can be a great way to keep employees comfortable in the office.
While keeping employees comfortable is important, it is also important to maintain a professional work environment. Private rooms for zoom calls are great for maintaining privacy and professionalism when necessary. These can be offices assigned to employees or free for people to use as needed; a mix of the two can ensure a space for everyone.
Conference rooms are also beneficial for collaboration within and outside of the organization. These will be utilized in many different ways, such as getting teams together for brainstorming or a place for people to gather who come from outside the company. Be sure to equip these rooms with soundproofing technology and appliances for zoom calls if people from across the country/world need to be included.
Go above and beyond in the kitchen/break room for your employees, and they’ll truly appreciate it. This is one way to get people back into the office if you’ve transitioned to remote work through the pandemic but can get together again.
Not only do you want to include a refrigerator and microwave, but also things like a coffee machine, water machine, snacks, and disposable dishes & flatware. These are simple ways to get people in the office and keep them there, helping with retention rates and improving the workplace environment/morale.
Typically, these spaces can get overlooked in most offices; focusing and effort will go a long way. Please start with the bathroom by creating a comfortable space for people to do their business and freshen up at the end of the workday. A lot of people live hectic lives outside of work and have errands to run or children’s sports games to attend.
Design the bathroom areas to feel more “homey” and less “public restroomy.” Though keeping the bathroom stalls does make for a practical space, focus on stocking them with essentials. Include wipes, feminine care products, air fresheners, etc., in each stall. When it comes to the sink area, swap out the industrial counter for a larger bathroom vanity with storage. This is a great place to store cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products such as deodorant, perfume/cologne, lotion, hair spray, etc. This will help your employees out in a pinch and create a comfortable space.
Another element to include in the office if there’s space is 1-2 lactation rooms. This is a place that will make all new moms returning to work much more comfortable. In addition, there should be a refrigerator to store milk, a comfortable chair for pumping, and lactation snacks. Though most employees won’t utilize this, it will be greatly appreciated by those who do.
Create collaborative relationships inside and outside the office by setting up activities and gatherings after work hours. For example, many companies start and end the workday on Fridays earlier to facilitate a happy hour at local businesses. This is a great way to get people together and relax going into the weekend.
Sports leagues are also a good way to get people together and can be an advertising opportunity for the company. Sponsor teams for softball, volleyball, kickball, etc., to get employees active while also getting your name out there.
Utilizing these tips will help retain your employees and make your company much more appealing to potential new hires. Though these may seem silly, workplaces with updated offices tend to have much higher productivity and happier employees.