An extension of one’s home, a second home, a comfortable nook, a hangout…….. With longer hours spent at work, workplaces have become a second home for many employees. If spending so many hours at work, it goes without saying the physical infrastructure impacts the output or productivity of the workforce. Hence, the growing importance of creating a workplace that is attractive and comfortable for the employees engages and promotes teamwork, innovation and productivity and helps them become part of the community.
Thus, the coinage “experience led offices”
Simply put, workplaces are being designed to create ‘employee experiences’ that prompt employees to come to the office because they wish to, not because they have to. This is made possible through the integration of attractive lifestyle experiences within the office space itself. From fulfillment of employee needs to amenities that achieve the company personnel’s need for creativity, collaboration and entertainment – unique experiences are being crafted for the office space.
Factors Shaping Experience-led Office Spaces
– The Millennial Workforce
With the changing demographics of the workforce it has become essential for firms to address employees’ need to collaborate beyond the cubicle. With networking, socializing, relaxation, skill development and other perks being the main concerns of millennials to better their own work product, it has become pertinent for firms to enhance the overall work experience to attract and retain talent. For example, corporations and large tech firms have started migrating their employees to co-working spaces to fulfill their need to collaborate with industry disruptors.
– Promotion of Brand Identity
Not just for the employees, experience-led workplace helps promote company image not only to its workforce , but also to clients, stakeholders, investors or visitors. A well thought out and planned space can positively impact a company’s brand value and enhance its appeal, while the opposite is also equally true. Hence, organisations are taking great care while planning their new workspaces.
– Increase in Productivity
Many studies show direct correlation between greater job satisfaction and increased productivity. With workspaces that are amenity-driven, more of the workforce within a company will be motivated to work harder and better. An example is the provision of concierge service at offices, where the office enables employees to take care of their daily activities like booking tickets, sending clothes to the launderette and other chores by engaging third party vendors.
– Need for creativity
Creativity allows employees to look at issues from a different perspective that helps in arriving at solutions through alternate routes. Creating a workspace that encourages creativity is an essential part of improving the company profile through improved workflows, reduced errors and greater insights.
– Better Collaboration Between Landlords & Tenants
Companies have realised how experience-led office spaces boost productivity, reduce downturn and ensure retention of top talent. From a lease driven relationship, the partnership between landlords and tenants is moving to that of a collaboration towards the building of spaces that provide a great workplace experience.
Combination of various environments plays a huge role in creating an optimal employee experience
The company culture, feel or vibe should be reflected in the physical office. Creating an open-office environment, promoting a flat company structure, introducing flexible work schedules, ensuring value for ideas, creating sensory experiences that boost productivity, and facilitating team mentality, all help in creating a company culture that fosters creativity and produces great ideas.
Creating sensory experiences that boost productivity and creativity is another important aspect of increasing the well-being and satisfaction of the workforce. The physical environment of the office space should be conducive to the same. This could be realized through the addition of break out areas, spaces for play and collaboration, add-on amenities like gym, catered meals etc.
The tools of the job are a very important part of the employee experience. Outdated software, old devices, spotty or scarce internet will directly lead to poor performance and job dissatisfaction. Adopting recent innovations in the industry, ensuring swift action on malfunctioning equipment are all part of ensuring the workforce is satisfied with the technological environment.
In the age of gig economy, ensuring a workforce is driven, interested and committed can help not just grow the company but also increase its bottom line. Advantages like reduced absenteeism, increased workload uptake, better results with reduced timelines all account for greater gains for a company. Giving a unique work environment to the employees is but a drop in the ocean, in a fight to attract and retain the best talent.