Workplaces are all about productivity and talent. However, in the recent years, it's all about comfort, too.
A 2013 survey by Gallup disclosed that only 30% of employees are inspired by their workplace. This was given a nod with a global finding from the Leesman Index in 2014, stating that only 23% feel that their creativity is supported at work. Alongside this, 84% of the sample demography shared that the design of their workplace is important. This, among many other studies, have changed workplaces in a whole new light.
Companies are now changing gears. What was once focused on numbers are putting the highlight on design and employee comfort. After all, there is fierce competition for top talent; it has become increasingly difficult to recruit or retain skilful employees. In order to support the fundamental tasks their employees need to perform, companies are creating better working environments that engage and amplify employee performance. But what do their employees need? Here are some of the unusual things workers require of their office space:
Collaborative open spaces have become the trend in offices, but this isn’t good news for those who require better concentration. On 2014, Steelcase and Ipsos disclosed in a study that employees lose as much as 86 minutes a day tending to noise distractions. It could be a loud co-worker, a noisy AC system or a phone that keeps ringing.
How to resolve this? Companies should provide dedicated spaces to noise and silence. Quiet spaces can include a small conference room where one can go to focus on an important task. Designing corners for non-group-work can also help workers to be more productive instead of suffering in a shared desk. Another alternative: headphones. Allowing the use of these handy gadgets help mask the distracting sound all around. Adding a low-level ambient music to the environment can also aid in clearing up the unwanted noise.
Flexible working times
Getting to work from 9 to 5 seems like an easy commitment, but for the millennial worker, it could be limiting their opportunities. More people now value flexibility over money, especially that technology allows them to cater to a freer lifestyle. Stricter hours can also affect one's health; it's a trigger for higher blood pressure and less of a good night's sleep. There's also increased use of caffeine, alcohol and smoking – which leads to lower productivity by the time they hit their desks.
Why go for flexible hours, then? Employees gain a higher morale as they catch up on what truly matters. Job satisfaction means better productivity, loyalty, as well as good health. Establishing these virtues positively affect employee relations, which then results to company competitiveness and growth.
A research by Georgetown University confirms this fact: more employees are happier with non-traditional schedules that matches their personal needs. Working mums can tend to their kids before they leave for office; night owls have better options of arriving in the office late. Work and life balance offers personal fulfilment and gives on the drive to work best for the company who paid attention to their needs.
Remote working opportunities
The future of work may be remote. Technology has allowed us to be connected in many ways, from quick work chats to video calls as clear as crystal. This gives one the opportunity to get things done without being physically in the office. One reason? It could be tiring to stay at the same desk for years.
But there are many other benefits of going remote. Companies cut down costs, from utilities to transportation allowances, even lunches! Employees gain better enthusiasm when coming to the office, giving them better control of their time and presence minus the stress of commuting and physically communicating with the rest of their workmates.
Rules in disrupting others at work.
Workplace chat is good – but only if it’s getting things done. Otherwise, it adds up to the unnecessary distraction that takes one’s focus away from their job. The solution? Establishing rules. Here are some ways to avoid those unimportant small talks:
- Put on your noise-cancelling headphones and leave a “Do Not Disturb” note on your cube
- Use messaging instead; apps like Slack helps you communicate with your group at the tip of your fingers. One important thing, though: manage your notifications so that you don’t need to respond every two minutes
- Quiet spaces help employees enjoy undisturbed hours while working on their tasks. Entering these zones may mean “Not in the mood for talking,” for every employee
- Allow time for discourse. An hour in the conference room gives the opportunity for everyone to speak their mind. Leaving the room means back to work, and back to quiet
Today’s workplace is supposed to be a healthy, nurturing ground for employees to grow holistically in their careers, and as a person. These changes are not modern-day trends; they’re made for the better. As companies seek the benefits of their employees, employees, in turn, reward their companies with a sense of zeal, commitment and skill like never before.