Organisations must be proactive when it comes to retaining employees and keeping them sufficiently engaged. With millennials expected to make up about 75% of the workforce by 2025, there is a strong need for multi-generational office spaces, driven by mobile technology and changing work styles, against the backdrop of work-life balance, wellbeing, diversity, and inclusion.
Office space design has changed drastically over time. From cold, grey spaces that resembled laboratories to funky, vibrant formats that look more like lounges, the humble office space has come a long way. Offices are now being customised around the requirements of the workforce, unlike in the past decades, where employees were expected to make the most of rigid, cookie-cutter office designs.
Also, taking into consideration that the remote working trend is catching on like never before, and more and more people choosing to work from home, cafes, and coworking spaces, it is a very telling sign that employees want traditional workplaces to change. This makes a rather strong case for fun, cool, and inspiring workplaces for today’s fun, cool, and inspired workforce.
Let’s take a look at how you can build an inspiring workplace to keep the young, dynamic workforce inspired, creatively challenged, and motivated…
Inspiring Workplaces – The New Norm
Innovation and productivity are the two factors that determine how successful organisations are. To ensure this, companies need to build a workplace and formulate a culture that inspires employees to give their best.
Let’s take a look at how companies can build a workplace that inspires them…
1. Encourage Collaboration
Communication is the key in workplaces today, given that multiple teams work on projects in varying capacities. Employees working in silos can have devastating effects on project management, leading to miscommunication or inefficiencies.
But a well-designed workspace can encourage communication, and therefore collaboration, to arrive at bigger, better ideas that streamline the way work should be done. This also fosters team spirit and bonding between teams who then ‘work together’ instead of competing against other teams to achieve common goals.
Collaboration is also a great way to empower new or under-confident employees. It gives them the feeling of importance, of being heard, and that their voice, ideas, and opinions matter. They are more likely to speak up if they know they are making a difference, and over time, inculcate a more can-do attitude and confidence.
2. Make Employees Feel Valued
Owing to the major shift in the demographics of the workforce today, the recipe for corporate success has now changed to include elements that were not considered pertinent before such as employee wellbeing, work-life balance, fun at the workplace, etc. A thoughtful workplace shows employees that the organisation values employee wellness, which in turn has a positive effect on productivity, morale, and retention.
A great office is a direct, tangible indication that the organisation cares about its employees and is willing to invest in a space that makes employees feel good. Additionally, having team-building activities and wellness initiatives ensures that employees always feel ‘involved’ and become more productive.
Employees that feel valued by their organisation are more likely to be motivated and ready to take on more responsibilities and challenges in order to see the organisation prosper.
3. Give Importance to Creativity
Organisations today realise that their people and their ideas are the greatest assets. It is commonly accepted now that success can only be achieved when creative ideas are bounced off each other, complement each other, and come together like cogs that fit perfectly.
The office space becomes this platform for employees to innovate, a canvas for them to create the next big masterpiece. Investing in a workplace that inspires employees to do their best is, therefore, in the best interest of the organisation!
In the rather competitive industry today, every organisation needs to carve a niche for themselves and maintain it. The only way to do so is to constantly innovate and ideate to keep the momentum and stay relevant. Employee creativity plays the most important role in this, and ensuring that employees have a space that matches their creative energy is vital for organisations.
And yes… don’t forget to reward them for it. Recognition plays a critical role in ensuring that employees keep their creative streaks alive!
4. Allow Flexibility
An inspiring workplace is one that allows its employees some flexibility. While remote working is now a reality, workplace design can also be made more flexible. Meetings can take place in the cafeteria over a coffee, presentations can happen in the amphitheater, or a party can be hosted in the office by simply removing the easily movable furniture. This adaptability and flexibility open up avenues for employees to use the space as required, making them comfortable and ready to think up the next big idea or take up the next big challenge happily.
5. Work On Employee Experience and Happiness
A nurturing, inspiring workplace can do wonders to up employee happiness, which, in turn, makes them proud ambassadors for their organisation or brand. They are more likely to take joy in their work, go out of their way to contribute, and mentor other employees.
They are also ideal role models to have around the office, encouraging fellow employees to follow suit. They also effectively combat negativity at the workplace, making unhappy employees see the potential the organisation has and, at times, turning them into reasonable feedback-giving employees that help improve the overall work culture.
6. Combat Stress
Stress at work needs no introduction. No matter the industry, no matter the type of workplace, every employee is plagued with work-related stress in varying degrees. And stressed-out employees are known to be distracted, unhappy, and unproductive, in turn damaging the business slowly but surely.
While reducing stress is a very subjective concept, a thoughtful workplace can always look for ways to keep the blues at bay. There’s just something about the way a happy space feels, and when even stressed employees walk into an inspiring, well-designed workplace, their stress is alleviated to a great extent, encouraging them to bring their best, productive self to the game!
Some ways to achieve this could be through wellness initiatives, investing in ergonomic furniture and office design, allowing flexible schedules, encouraging CSR initiatives, etc.
7. Make Work Fun
Let’s be honest – work is not always fun. But, think about how this situation would change if a pool table, or a Foosball table, or Pizza Fridays were added to the narrative? While these are just generic ideas, organisations are increasingly thinking of ways to make employee time at work productive yet fun, comfortable, yet intellectually stimulating.
For instance, an IT company called RMSI based out of Gurgaon is setting an incredible example for workplace fun. They have an in-house music band, a photography club, and conduct sessions for acting, movie making, zumba, sports, and learning to play the guitar!
Overall, employees are emerging as the central characters in the success stories of most new-age organisations.
Organisations too are coming to terms with this, and investing in better, more aesthetically pleasing workplaces, with green corners and fun spaces, multipurpose areas, huddle zones, rewards and recognition initiatives, and wellness drives, that make employees feel valued.
Building an inspiring workplace is all about making sure that your employees have what they need to be their productive best. Listen to your employees carefully, and you’ll have the key to what they believe is an inspiring workplace!