How To Improve Your Workplace Environment for 2021

by Elizabeth Dukes on March 26, 2014

Your business is fueled by the talented individuals you’ve hired to back your vision.  Whomever you decide to hire, they’ll ultimately be one of the most important business decisions you’ll make.  

According to Forbes, the Millennial generation will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.  After all, they are the largest generational group, with over 80-million individuals in their cohort. They’re in positions across the company, so you can’t simply ignore them. 

And you don’t want them to ignore your company, either.

If you’re looking for great workplace ideas to attract and retain the best people to your organization, here are our top 10 ways to make your workplace attractive to top talent. That way, when they’re searching for work, they’ll be excited about an employment opportunity with your company.

Workplace ideas for attracting top talent

1. Easy access to information and resources

Workers want access to information that helps them do their jobs efficiently, effectively, and without any manual processes that take too much time and can be a bit of a hassle. But that’s not all they need: To be engaged employees, they’ll also need access to a number of other critical resources.

The best way to do this isn’t through 3-part forms or via emails sent to generic inboxes, but through technology. Therefore, it’s critical that departments that provide workforce support — like Human Resources, Information Technology, and Facilities Management teams — create technology-based interfaces for employees.  This gives everyone easy access to critical training materials, resources, and services. 

2. An up-to-date office design

Workers don’t want to walk in the door and see an environment that’s outdated. They want a modern, up-to-date, and current office design.

Put yourself in the shoes of the talent. Imagine entering an office with dull colors, poor lighting, and high cube walls — would you be impressed with a place like that? So, if that’s how your office looks to job candidates, why would they think your office is a fun place to work?

Keep in mind, that this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank with high-end furniture or expensive real estate. But your space should have plenty of light, feel flexible, and inspire the worker to enjoy collaborating and being productive there.  

In our own offices, we used bright artwork and paint colors, and ergonomic furniture. We’ve kept the space wide open, but created nooks for employees to have quiet conversations as well as larger spaces to accommodate meetings with big groups. Our employees are organized into functional groups, but because our space is open enough it also helps foster dynamic discussions.

3. The right technology

Workers want the latest technological hardware. Is your workplace equipped with the right tools? Employees should have access to the most recent computing technology, whether on a desktop or mobile device. That’s more important than ever since the largest part of the workforce grew up in the digital age.

The workspace should also offer the latest office equipment for managing output, using multi-function devices for the production or distribution of output. Collaborative space should have the ability to support presentations and have video and audio capability — especially if all or part of your workforce has a hybrid or remote working arrangement.

Finally, Wi-Fi should be available wherever the worker goes, allowing them to access data and resources on the go without struggling to connect to the internet.

4. Modern workplace amenities

Workers want access to amenities such as outdoor seating, good food (either onsite or close by), high-end coffee bars, exercise facilities, and healthcare.

And if you want to get employees excited about working in the office, you might want to get creative with the workplace amenities you offer. Interesting workplace ideas for amenities may include things centered on well-being, such as meditation rooms or in-office classes.

The amenities you can’t do without these days include videoconferencing software and enabling virtual and in-person collaboration all-hands and company events.

5. Environmental sustainability

Workers want a sustainable work environment with a focus on eco-friendly practices and supporting the environment. This includes a recycling program, the use of sustainable supplies and office fixtures, and safe non-toxic products for cleaning or pest control.

6. Passion for work

People want the ability to identify with a brand and feel a sense of belonging with company culture. Employees expect to work for an organization that they are passionate about, in a role they’re passionate about. This way, they’ll be interested in advancing not only the company goals but their individual goals as well.

After all, who wants to spend 8 hours a day on something they don’t like or care about? Perhaps that’s why 20% of the workforce is not happy in their current position, according to Gallup.

So how can you counteract a lack of passion at work? Here’s one top workplace idea: Build a strong brand that supports company and individual needs. That will allow people connect to truly feel connected to the organization, which ultimately helps create a strong team culture with lasting benefits.

7. Social media engagement

Workers want social engagement in the workplace. Today’s employees want to interact with their coworkers both in the physical work environment and through social media — using the same channels they do to communicate with their friends, family, and network outside of work. 

For employers, there’s an added benefit. The ability to leverage social media to build brand awareness, enhance cultural nuance, collaborate, and provide employees with information about the availability of services and resources is crucial.

8. Mobility at work

It’s the 21st century — your workers want mobility.

In keeping with social engagement, employers should provide the ability for the workforce to engage and interact with the workplace while mobile. This supports the need for technology-based work environments and access to online apps, enabling them to access critical information when they need it.

9. Opportunities for collaboration

Collaboration is the oldest human technology — it enables us to share ideas and work together towards a shared goal. Workers want to interact with everyone from the CEO and their managers to people in both their own and other departments. It’s one way they feel they’re a contributing part of the team.

Teamwork leads to more effective, productive, and innovative companies.  Having the space that allows all levels of communication — and available at the right time — gives employees everything they need for seamless collaboration. And more opportunities for working together breeds success.

10. The ability to have fun!

Employees just want to have fun. In the U.S., workers spend approximately 46 hours at the workplace each week, which is 378 hours more per year, on average, than workers in Germany.

And at work, people often feel a strong expectation to operate at their maximum capacity.  But pure efficiency thinking does more damage than good, putting so much pressure on employees that they can be left feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

As a result, efficiency pressures can negatively impact job satisfaction and productivity. It may seem counter-intuitive, but having some time to relax and take a break from working is actually better for both individual productivity and the productivity of the business.

Therefore, this workplace idea is one of the most critical: Make sure you factor fun into your workplace. Your workplace should be an environment that allows everyone to be productive but it also needs to be enjoyable enough that people feel comfortable relaxing and socializing with their colleagues.

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Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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