While you talk salary and benefits, your office communicates volumes

You can try to lure a candidate with your company’s mission. And you can try to convince them to join your team with the promise of challenging projects. At some point, you know you had better address salary and benefits. But you can bet that while you’re talking, the candidate is looking around and trying to picture themself in your workplace. The question is, What kind of picture has your office and office furniture created in their mind?

Your office can help or hinder workplace recruiting

No one ever said that a workplace should look and feel like a home, even though more of them, especially among Fortune 500 companies, seem to take their cues from comfortable home design. Still, it would be hard to imagine conducting an interview in a conference room over a table strewn with papers and coffee mugs. You’d tidy up first, much like you would if you were hosting a guest at the dining room table in your home.

You do this because you know full well that like your home, your office can make a powerful impression on visitors. And it can play a crucial role in your workplace recruiting efforts, particularly when you take the time to understand why it’s such a draw in the first place.

An office conveys personality and culture

Just as you may refer to your receptionist as your “director of first impressions,” your waiting area makes an impression, too. Are the paint, lighting, furniture and accessories warm and traditional? Modern and edgy? Casual and inviting?

Whatever qualities the waiting area exudes, they probably carry over to the rest of your workplace, revealing a great deal about your company’s personality and culture. Fair or unfair, accurate or inaccurate, the impressions created by the design and details can communicate as much as your website—your greatest marketing tool.

An office can be a deal-breaker

Candidates who compare and contrast career opportunities often have more than salary, benefits and promotional opportunities on their checklist. While these issues may be priorities, an office can be the deciding factor when two offers are similar. Look no further than social media for proof. Employers who know they’ve created special workspaces are happy to broadcast this fact to jobseekers.

Offices matter to millennials

They may not be a force you’re contending with now, but millennials are making their presence known in the American workplace. By some estimates, they’re expected to make up a full 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. Time and again, research shows that they care immensely not only about where they work, but how they work, with comfortable lounging areas tucked among more traditional workstations holding great appeal to their more laid-back attitude. If your goal is to attract and retain top talent, workplace design must speak the language of millennials.

An expert can lead the way

If you’re thinking that it’s impossible “to be all things to all people,” you’re right. Even the most thoughtful or expensive office renovation project can end up eliciting a range of reactions. It’s the nature of the enterprise; office design can be highly subjective.

This is why it’s important to work with an expert who can help you narrow your choices so that your office appeals as much to employees as to prospective employees you’re hoping will become part of your team.

Start now with a complimentary space plan consultation. We understand: office design is important in any job market. But in a competitive one, it could positively transform your workplace recruiting efforts.

Study reveals what employees really want from their office space

They have the information you need, so you’d think they’d spill it like a fountain when you ask for it. But office workers tend to be resourceful, so even if their desk is a bit too far out of reach, their chair is lumpy and their window blinds are tattered, they’ve probably jerry-rigged solutions so they can focus on doing their jobs.

It’s no wonder they often go silent when they’re asked how their office space can be improved. And as for workplace wellness ideas? This is an even bigger stretch than the one they make to their desk.

So where does this leave you? Rather than forego the whole idea of making improvements to your employees’ office space, turn to a study conducted by Olivet Nazarene University. More than 2,000 workers talked about how they felt about their respective office spaces—and they spilled information that you can either adapt to your workplace or use to start a conversation with your employees.

Workers prefer private offices

The average age of the 2,009 workers in the study was 37, with 55 percent being female and the rest male. To the extent that their opinions were influenced by their own work setup, it may help to know that:

  • 4 percent worked in an “open office,” meaning they had no assigned space.
  • 13 percent worked in an open office with an assigned space.
  • 21 percent had a private office.
  • 28 percent worked in cubicles.
  • 34 percent worked in a hybrid of a private office and open floor plan.

When asked if they were “happy with the way” their office is set up, those with some type of private office led the pack. Ninety percent of workers with an entirely private office said they were happy while 79 percent of those with a combination private office and open floor plan gave a thumbs up.

The quest for privacy was a recurring theme in the Olivet study. When asked what they disliked about their office setup, the respondents ranked their answers with authority, citing:

  • Noise
  • A lack of privacy
  • Too many visual distractions
  • Too little energy
  • The feeling of being “on display”
  • Being too isolated

Workers equate quiet with productivity

The study’s respondents were also precise about what they need to be productive at work, with:

  • 35 percent of the respondents saying “a quiet location.”
  • 24 percent wanting “a dedicated office space.”
  • 22 percent expressing a wish for a “comfortable chair or desk.”
  • 8 percent preferring a door.
  • 11 percent listing other amenities.

Workers may influence future office layouts

The study’s findings suggest that workplace wellness ideas aren’t far from workers’ minds. The authors conclude: “As professional expectations evolve along with the modern American workforce, it’s only natural that the space we work in follows suit. Even cubicles are disappearing, often replaced with much-debated open floor plans… Increasingly, offices are being designed with employees’ wants and needs in mind.”

If you find yourself pursuing this goal but aren’t quite sure how to follow through, allow the design experts at Rightsize Facility to help you. All you have to do to get started is make an appointment for a consultation. We’ll take it from there. Whether or not you use the Olivet study to elicit employee feedback, we can help you make the best use of your office space – and maybe incorporate the workplace wellness amenities that will set an upbeat tone for the new decade.

 

Photo Credit: www.watsonfurniture.com

 

Is your office space conducive to plugging in, powering up and even puttering around?

Try a simple exercise the next time you’re invited to a business meeting, planning session or conference outside your office: As everyone finds and settles into a seat, see how long it takes them to start looking around for an electrical outlet. Just as many people may start scouring the walls before they find a seat because they know: watching a phone or laptop slowly lose its power is no fun.

The exercise may bring a smile to your face – until you realize that visitors to your office may be undergoing the same search-and-frustration mission. Worse, your employees may be grappling with outlet shortages and, just as likely, workstations that were created and installed decades before anybody ever heard of putting a lowercase “i” in front of the word “phone.”

The exercise might convince you to ask yourself: Is your office space conducive to plugging in, powering up and even puttering around? The good news is, if it’s not, it can be with modern office furniture that reflects today’s reliance on technology.

Technology can transform an office

At least this is one issue that doesn’t spawn the familiar chicken-or-the-egg debate. Everybody knows that office furnishings were around long before computers, printers, tablets, smartphones and even fax machines began crowding tabletop surfaces and made multiple surge-protecting power strips a necessity.

This onslaught of technology held the promise of transforming the workplace by:

  • Untethering workers from a single workstation by offering multiple places where they can remain “powered up” and productive.
  • Promoting a healthier alternative to sitting in the same chair for hours at a time.
  • Placing modern office furniture in activity-based workspaces vs. the static floor plans of the past.
  • Making the workplace a more enjoyable place for employees to be – happy employees are generally more productive employees.

The only problem was, technology became ubiquitous and continues to change and evolve as more people of all age groups embrace it. If technology is the “hare” and office furniture is the “tortoise” in this race, then some people might argue that office furniture deserves a handicap to compete.

Consider the possibilities

Now, finally, there are signs that the handicap may not be necessary after all. Advances in technology may be slowing down just as businesses are eager to catch up and create greater synergy between the technology their employees use and their office surroundings. In other words, the three “transformational goals” are still attainable.

After all, why should phones be the only things that are deemed “smart”? Smart offices and smart workspaces can be yours if you’re willing to consider certain additions. You may have heard of some of them; others may strike you as futuristic. But believe it: The future is here in enhancements such as:

  • Sit-stand desks
  • Keyboard-integrated chairs
  • Furniture, especially desks and tables, with tech-charging abilities
  • Gravity-defying counters
  • Touch-screen tabletops
  • iPad-ready writing desks with drawers (also known as escritoires)

Chances are if there is a tech problem you wish to solve with modern office furniture, it’s out there. All you have to do is take the first step by making an appointment for a consultation with Rightsize Facility. We’ll help you make the most of your office space and create the technological synergy that’s been eluding you. Just wait until the next time a crowd descends on your office, phones in hand. Having answered today’s tech challenges, the only exercise you’ll embark on is a few triumphant fist pumps.

Office Design Predictions for 2020

Sometimes you just can’t help it. It’s easier to pinpoint the office furniture you don’t like instead of what you do.

Indecision may not be an ideal state, but turning the calendar to the new year can be a glorious way to turn indecision into action. Just as in previous years, 2020 holds the promise of ushering in new trends that can enliven your office and give your employees even more reason to enjoy coming to work.

Continue reading

Why Are Offices Still Important in the Digital Age?

New technologies are changing the way companies work and compete with each other. Technology is not only affecting how companies work but have made an impact in working spaces too. In the past three years, we have seen growing trends of open workspaces and even virtual offices. Although the concepts of virtual offices and open workspaces have some merits and may cater to the needs of working, the traditional concept of ‘the office’ retains many of its benefits

 

Continue reading

Be Productive: Take a Break

The majority of jobs these days require a worker to sit in a chair and glue their eyes to a screen for long hours. It’s not just that workers are getting too much screen time; they’re also getting too much sitting time. Staying in one position for long, especially in front of the computer or laptop screen, tends to decrease productivity, create lethargy, and lead to a sedentary & unhealthy lifestyle. This is one of the reasons many companies are introducing break areas in their offices.

 

Continue reading

Achieving SPECtacular Suites

Constructing spec suites as ready-to-occupy office space can be a highly effective way to attract tenants. The need for modern, hip looking space to attract and retain talent makes spec suites an excellent option for many tenants. While each sub market is slightly different, it is likely that tenant trends will continue and if landlords want to stay competitive in the market, they will need to find take advantage of this growing trend.

Continue reading

Why Coworking Spaces Are No Longer “In”

WeWork, the largest provider of shared working spaces in the world, has recently been in the news due to their economic hardships and subsequent failed plans to launch an IPO. While some local, community minded coworking spaces are thriving, here are some of the reasons why coworking spaces may have fallen short of becoming the new normal in the business world.

Continue reading