How important is good company culture to your business? Just ask the people at Deloitte University Press, who conducted a 2013 study on business culture and employee engagement. They found that 87% of organizations cited culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, while 50% called them a problem. This is a major factor that companies face in terms of the “Brain Drain” from their workforce. Top performing workers are the backbone of any company, especially in the tech sector where finding and retaining talent is challenging.
One of the best ways that a company can satisfy employee engagement and satisfaction is having the right work space environment. A great work space is one that makes sure that the office space encourages collaboration, but also fuels play and creativity. In order to have a great work environment for your employees, you have to ask yourself the following three questions.
Does my office space nurture a positive work culture?
The companies with the highest staff retention have made sure that their office space encourages play and creativity. Just look at Google, Bing, Yahoo and other top tech companies. You do not have to go as far as they have, but there are lessons that you learn from them. You need to ask yourself: How does the layout of desks and work stations draw out the creativity in your team, or is there a better layout or configuration? Are your meeting rooms large enough and configurable to not just hold a meeting, but also to host fun work events for your staff? Is you office space broadband or WiFi compatible, so that regardless of where employees are working, they can connect with other teams in the office or around the world? These are important factors in having a happy, engaged and creative team.
Are your team or teams sufficiently connected?
Having a great internet or WiFi connection does not always mean that your teams are connected to each other. When you are trying to have a creative and collaborative team, you need to find ways to foster collaboration that is not forced. Your team not only needs methods and ways of collaborating with team members across the country, but also with team members who have a desk across the room in the same shared office space, or in the next office. As a business owner or manager, you job is not just to facilitate communication and collaboration, but to encourage it and find ways to making it engaging and exciting. These connections have to be creative and efficient, but they also have to allow for play and the social aspects of your team. Your team shares a mission and without constant communication, the collaborative energy could be lost. Don’t just facilitate communication and connections, encourage them with planned sessions. These sessions do not need to be meetings in a meeting room; they can be ‘walking meetings’ or standing-only ‘brainstorming’ sessions.
Does you office space and location reflect your brand?
While having a great location that impresses your customers, it also needs to be somewhere that is convenient for your team to get to and from. But there are more questions you must ask about you physical office space. Does your physical office space inspire employees to participate passionately in your company’s future? Does your work space embody and express your brand’s values? Does your office use cubicles (that hamper creativity and collaboration), or do you use the team space approach with unassigned work spaces (that allow for small groups to gather for collaboration purposes). Focusing on work connectivity and office spaces that encourage collaboration will not just strengthen your employees’ abilities to collaborate, it will strengthen your workers’ brand passion.
Some final things to consider about your office space. The more natural lighting or even simulated natural light you can provide for your teams, the better they will perform. This also means bringing natural lighting into the hallways and corridors that access your various offices and areas. Telsec Business Centres has found that replacing interior wall sections of window offices with glass walls has brought more natural light to the interior hallways. Telsec is now considering putting more glass walls in. In some cases, Telsec is even putting glass walls in interior offices, so to allow the natural sunlight from the window offices to flow into offices without windows.