Just how important is it for employees to love their work environment?

McKenna Cameron 06/11/19 - 8:02 pm

Modern corporate office conference room

More important than you thought.

Most employees dream of their office adopting modernized policies and workspace. I mean, don’t you want a work environment you feel creatively motivated in? Well executives may want to listen up, because your company’s workspace is more important than just the walls surrounding your team.

When dealing with the talent gap for tech workers in companies, studies found that making your office a more enjoyable place to work is a very efficient tool for recruiting. The tactic of using physical office space as an incentive to employees has been used by companies such as Google and Facebook for years. Although this may seem like an obvious way for companies to develop an edge on competitors for new hires, Forrester research found that employee experience executives cited “‘real estate/office space’ as their least important priority.”

Here’s why you should prioritize your workspace for the benefit of the entire company.

Office space reflects company culture

Walking into a room, building or office can give you a feeling of the organization within those first few minutes. Whether it’s intuition (or plain obvious) some workspaces may be lighthearted and collaborative, while others could have hostility or tension in the air. Could this feeling be related to the layout of your organization? Chances are, it could!

The physical workspace of an organization often reflects how your company works. A more open floor plan or the option of brainstorming areas indicates collaboration and innovativeness within the organization. Multi-level offices that physically align with senior leaders on top indicate an organization heavily focused on corporate title and position. If you can’t knock down your office walls to change the layout, you can still add smaller elements to brighten up your work environment.

Decorative pieces also speak to people who walk into your building. Do you celebrate employees’ achievements? Do you allow people to personalize their space? All those small factors could completely change your company’s culture for the better, starting with a great work environment.

Office layouts enhance employee satisfaction

For a while, an open office concept was the latest and greatest idea. After some trial and error, people realized that open office concepts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, stemming from the lack of personal space. According to Forrester Analytics, Global Information workers who are most satisfied in their work environment have an open concept office and spaces to collaborate, but also an individual office. This combined layout is preferred over individual cubicles/private offices, a mix of offices of cubicles and open concept only. The idea of being able to have your own privacy and space when needed, but also have a space to collaborate, allows the best of both worlds for employees in your company.

Creative spaces inspire creative thinking

We’ve all had that creative block at work. Staring at a computer screen waiting for a million-dollar idea for the company to pop into your head. Or even a simple day-to-day task that you can’t find the creativity you usually have. Did you know that changing elements of your workspace can foster creativity?

Renowned neuroscience expert Alice Flaherty found that the more dopamine released in our brain, the more creative we are. Some activities that trigger the release of dopamine are exercise, exposure to sunlight, human contact and hugging your pet. Yes, hugs from a pet can get your workplace creative juices flowing! Another contribution to creativity is having a break for the subconscious mind to wander. The Science of Creativity article goes into greater detail of how “a distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.”

So, what does this have to do with work?

When employees can take ample breaks to walk away from an ineffective solution or participate in an activity that creatively stimulates their brain, they will come back ready to work. Modernized work policies such as outdoor workspaces, ping pong tables and pets in the office can allow employees to escape creative blocks and come back inspired. That’s why Brogan & Partners exercises those policies, and more, in our office.

Women on computers outside during summer.
Brogan employees goldendoodle in the office.

Ping pong break, anyone?

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Blog Category: Workplace Culture

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