Your workplace environment could be hindering the efficiency of your staff and even leading them to quit. How can you make improvements and keep your best employees?
It can be difficult to ensure that your workplace allows employees to work efficiently.
DCI Partnership director Richard deVries says many business environments are outdated for modern productivity standards and employee expectations.
“There are many companies that are coming out of environments that were put together five or ten years ago that really don’t fit the way people work today,” Mr deVries said.
“Looking at … workstations, they’re perhaps a bit old. We don’t work with CRT monitors anymore so an L-shaped workstation with a monitor in the corner is not always the most appropriate way to work.”
Mr deVries made the comments to RPM’s sister title, My Business on the My Business Podcast.
He said the current trend in business layouts is to facilitate efficient collaboration, no matter where an employee is in the workplace.
“There’s a big emphasis on collaboration, teamwork and giving staff areas where they can break out without necessarily having to leave the building to go and grab a cup of coffee,” Mr deVries said.
To update your layout, he suggested examining how your current workstations are utilised in order to maximise the collaboration potential of new workstations.
“How many people sit in a cluster and what is around them? Where can they go to sit with a colleague and chat? Where can they break out? Maybe [install] some soft-seating areas. There’s a whole bunch of things we can do.”
Updating a workplace is well and good for making it modern and aesthetically pleasing, but doing so can also be an investment in employee retention.
For example, Mr deVries said ensuring you have an up-to-date workplace can give employees flexibility in where and how they work.
“There’s a great buzzword around at the moment… It’s called ‘activity-based working’,” he explained.
“What it really means is about having a work space that is appropriate and gives flexibility... They can get up, take their laptop, go and work in a kitchen environment, in a soft-seating environment [or] on a coffee table.”
A decade ago, workplaces were restricted to power points. If you didn’t have a power point, you could not work. With the advent of mobile and wireless technology, however, work can be done virtually anywhere.
As such, revamping your business premises could help to boost efficiency and productivity, and reduce staff turnover.
“There’s always … this perhaps implied threat that if the workplace isn’t good enough, ‘I’ll pick up and go and work for one of the big guys’,” Mr deVries said.
“Ten years ago, it was about having a nice tea room, lunch room, workstations that were big enough, a couple of meeting rooms and that was about it. But these days, people want so much more.”