The focus of the workspace has shifted from the building itself to the work force and their needs. The many contributing factors to this change include the emergence of Millennials in the workforce, the competitive nature of attracting and maintaining talent, and the continued need for companies to maximize their real estate footprint. In order to keep up with these marketplace trends and enhance overall productivity, organizations are looking at their office space in a whole new way. This means those who manage the workspace need to think differently embrace new technology and collaborate with IT and HR. The top ways to increase productivity by workspace management include:
- Understand the current break down of your space types and how they are used. Then modify them according to changing need. Traditionally, offices have the majority of their space dedicated to individual offices or workstations with the rest being collaborative space. The new trend is to move to a more
balanced environment with a 50/50 split. This is based on a change in workforce dynamics with the emergence of Millenials as a critical talent pool, who will become a significant percentage of the workforce in the near future. Millenials, unlike the generation before them, are more innovative and creative when they work collaboratively.
- Going a step further, it’s important to establish dynamic workstation assignments that are not dedicated to only one employee. This gives employees freedom to be mobile inside their workspace. Plus, it allows them to touch down in quiet areas or team-based areas depending on their needs. They have the freedom to go where they will be most productive for the task at hand.
- Allow for technological mobility inside the workspace. In order to make the workspace open to collaboration, employees need access to work resources, which includes both data and their co-workers. The workspace needs to allow workers to easily connect and engage through platforms such as audio/video conferencing, online meeting forums and secure Wifi connections.
- Offer Self-Service Technology to the workforce. In today’s world, employees want mobility technology to access resources and services immediately. They don’t want to have to fill out a form or make a phone call, but to use an app on their phone from both inside the office space or in the field. Empowering the workforce to easily request services, locate equipment or other employees and reserve space gives them greater control and enhances productivity not only for the worker, but also for the team managing the workspace. The facilities team can be more responsive by receiving requests real-time and being able to respond and update status with the corresponding phone or email.
- Make employees move. The workforce is more focused than ever on the whole employee, which includes health and well-being. Creating spaces that force people to get up and move to engage other employees, access amenities and socialize results in a healthier, more productive employee.
- In keeping with the whole employee concept, the workspace should offer high indoor air quality and ergonomically designed spaces, plus have initiatives in place that focus on sustainability. Employees are more productive in environments that are, first and foremost, healthy, but also when they feel their employer is supporting the community in which they live. Understanding what satisfies workers is an important metric when evaluating the workspace
- Create pleasing aesthetics to foster a productive work environment. Your office space should be light and open. Cubed-walls in dull beige that reach the ceiling eliminate employers from being able to see each other, which results in low motivation.
- Establish your brand internally. Promoting your organization’s brand is as important internally as it is externally. Employees want to feel a sense of pride and ownership in the companies success. In the workspace, it is important to bring your brand’s colors and imagery into the design.
- Create a fun environment. The workforce is spending more time at work than ever. So in order to ensure they are performing at their maximum, companies need to offer fun distractions for breaks. Google has set the bar high with basketball courts, yoga classes and bowling alleys, but other, not so elaborate methods exist like nice break rooms with good food and cable TV.
- Engage your employees. Creating open work environments doesn’t come without challenges. The need for privacy and quiet space is crucial, so it’s important to establish ground rules with your employees for working in an open environment. By engaging them, they feel a part of the decision and will embrace the changes that will enhance organizational productivity.