Over time, employers have learned that employees don’t only need to fit the company, but the company needs to fit the employees. Setting up an office that gives your employees a positive office experience encourages them to be innovative, loyal, and overall happier on the job. And with a workplace management system like Joan in place, creating a positive workplace is only a step away. But let’s start with exploring how can we achieve the best possible workplace experience.
Make it people-centric
The first step toward making an office space people-centric is to overcome the bonds of tradition. Don’t hold onto systems just because they’ve been around for a while. Don’t keep conventions just because “that’s how things always were”. Times are changing and your office should change with them.
Making an office experience people-centric means listening to what your employees want and need. It means being open and flexible enough to make changes that focus on transforming the office into a place people want to reside in for eight hours a day.
We’re moving from the age where offices are designed based on what managers and CEOs think their employees need. Today, companies are listening to the people who are the legs of their business.
One in five employees spends more than 20 hours per week working during their personal time. Employees want flexibility. They want the chance to go for a two-hour walk in the daylight and make up for the hours after dark. They want the flexibility to pick their child up from preschool and finish up the workday later. They want to be treated like adults instead of children on a sleep schedule.
Gather meaningful feedback
Gathering feedback doesn’t mean emailing a Survey Monkey questionnaire to the entire office, although that might help. Keep in mind, most surveys are only as good as the questions asked. Even if you have a “more comments” box at the end of the survey, most people don’t think up their best ideas on the spot. Instead, the best ideas usually come organically.
Gather feedback by observing how employees interact with their environment and each other.
Analytics tools such as Joan 6 can help you track how employees use spaces: how often they book a room solo just to get some peace and quiet, how often various teams meet etc. Implementing tools like Joan 6 can help the data come to you, instead of you chasing around the office for it.
Use it to make informed decisions and improve the experience
Now that you have data showing what your employees really want and value in the workspace, ideas should start falling into place.
If your employees want the office to be more homelike, add some creature comforts. If they want the flexibility of working into the night in exchange for some freedom during daylight hours, implement a work-from-home system.
Keep in mind, it’s not enough to simply offer employees opportunities to exercise or eat right. The company needs to set an example, creating a culture that encourages wellness. Offer standing desks, daylight, healthy food options, or even an on-site gym.
In a survey of over 7,000 individuals among 35 organizations, the single universal metric that all employees related to was belonging. No matter what culture, gender, or which race an individual related to, they still valued the sense of belonging to an organization.
What form the sense of belonging takes does vary from individual to individual. Some people feel a sense of belonging to their team, others to their projects. Some feel a sense of belonging and pride toward the company’s products. No matter what form the feeling takes, the sense of belonging is key for improving your employee’s experience.
In many ways, engagement and belonging go hand-in-hand. Employees who are engaged in the workplace often feel a stronger sense of belonging to the company. They are so active in their roles that they become invested in people, projects, and ideas.
It’s important to design your office in a way that encourages employee interaction. Some of the best ideas come from spontaneous meetings between employees around the office. Design your space to flow, promoting employee interaction and engagement.
Taking the steps to transform your office according to your employees’ wishes not only brightens the future but shows them how much the company cares. People who feel listened to feel hope and optimism that they’ll be looked out for.
Changing the office space to be more people-centric, engaging, and supportive takes action and won’t miraculously happen on its own. Progress, even gradual progress, can make the workspace better bit by bit. Before long, the employees will be even more proud of the company they work for and their office experience. And if your employees desire a simple and elegant meeting room booking system or a desk booking app, Joan is here for you.