Researchers interviewed more than 200 employees, including a mix of those currently employed and those seeking employment in the property, real estate and construction sectors.
When asked to rate their most important criterion when searching for a job, respondents overwhelmingly nominated office culture as their top priority, followed by training and development, employee benefits, then location.
The result was not surprising. Creating a friendly, supportive and engaging workspace is ultimately going to lead to greater work satisfaction and hence productivity. The key is to ensure the office design is comfortable, yet functional, to enable employees to focus on their work.
The current preference for hot-desking, whereby multiple workers use the same workstation or surface at different times, is becoming increasingly unpopular and less productive as workers struggle to concentrate on core tasks. This is a consequence of distractions that include constant movement within the office, lack of a defined space for employees to call their own, as well as noise issues.
Experience has shown that, increasingly, employees are demonstrating a preference for small, enclosed areas where they can shape and personalise their own space. This configuration appears to complement employees’ capacity to focus more effectively.
Comfort and interactive spaces are very important elements when creating an office culture. Functional kitchens with cooking and sitting areas, fruit bowls and cappuccino machines are becoming commonplace in many companies. Greenery is now coming indoors, and when combined with warm colour tones, these elements are contributing to the creation of more inviting work environments.
Training and development opportunities that help boost promotion prospects were the second-highest priority, followed by employee benefits. Options of joining fitness or relaxation programs, or attending charity or community days as a means of giving back to the community, were also seen as attractive benefits.
Employees spend a considerable part of their lives at work. It is imperative to create a positive work environment that is conducive to productivity. This will inevitably lead to reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, as well as a high-quality output. There is no doubt that making the effort to create a productive work environment will pay dividends for both employees and the business in the long run.
Here are five tips for creating a productive office culture and attracting the right talent:
1) Build an office environment that is authentic and reflects the values and culture of the business.
2) Listen to what is important to current and potential employees, then work to make these a reality.
3) Ensure an appropriate training and development program is in place to continually increase the skills of employees.
4) Create a brand in the market that people want to work for. People feel good about working for brands that have an excellent reputation.
5) Offer a remuneration package that exceeds industry standards.