Research has shown that the workplace determines worker satisfaction and productivity levels. In the scientific world, there exist design connoisseurs, and they’re called environmental psychologists. They conduct studies on how sensory experiences, territorial boundaries, and perceptions of control over the physical environment interact with personality and are affected by being in a particular space.
It may sound unfamiliar to you, but these experts have the data to back up their findings.
Talent succession is limited
There is a projected trend, particularly in developed countries like the U.S., Japan, Germany, China, and Italy that talent succession will be limited as current workforces—the highly-skilled ones—age without clear and able successors. Between 2010 and 2020, the work force’s projected growth rate is only 0.07 percent. The skills that will be in high demand are in management, sales and marketing, legal, technical (computer-related), and operations.
The challenge for organizations now is to find and keep these highly qualified employees by providing them with commercial workstations that would nurture them. The direction is to create vibrant offices, ones that will provide flexibility as to how, where, and when work happens.
A sense of ownership
Employees who are engaged in their work—not just career—have shown that they can boost a company’s bottom line by 20 percent. They have a sense of ownership in the company that they work for, are emotionally engaged, and are genuinely interested in producing value for their organization.
To ensure employee engagement, companies can recognize individual and team contributions. It is also important that organizational goals and objectives are communicated effectively. The company should also promote constant collaboration by providing spaces conducive to it. One proven way to do that is by involving the employees in retrofit design.
The remote workplace
The game-changer these days is mobility, with Wi-Fi signals now available practically everywhere. Research has shown that approximately one-third of knowledge workers do their work remotely; a mere 30 to 40 percent are actually using the workspaces assigned to them.
The company’s task is to provide the remote workers with reliable technology and business systems that will support them from remote locations. At the same time, there should be ample ‘touchdown’ space for these remote workers should they be required or see the need to come to the office.
Business demands today are more complex. They are more unpredictable that the single, multi-purpose workspace will not be sufficient for the knowledge worker. Modern business offices have incorporated into their design impromptu meeting areas, project rooms, formal meeting spaces, break areas, and individual workspaces.
These are just some of the major considerations to take when designing your modern workspace to fit the needs of the modern workforce. The bottom line isn’t profit—it’s to put people first and to satisfy their needs in order to retain talent and maximize output.
Comfort and satisfaction have been shown to affect performance directly. Engaging your knowledge workforce on how to best maximize their workspaces while supporting them will go a long way in keeping them engaged.