With one in three concerned about finding and retaining skilled people in 2020, managers are looking for better ways to keep their staff engaged and inspired to win the race for talent.
Workplace facilities, new technology, staff benefits and wellbeing initiatives all play a vital role in employee motivation and retention. It’s now widely accepted that workplace design affects productivity, too, which can make a significant impact to the bottom line. It really does pay to get the work environment.
How to design for the workplace of the future
With multiple generations to please in today’s and tomorrow’s workplace, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to prioritise for the greatest gains in staff wellbeing and enjoyment.
We’ve taken a look at the research behind the top employee benefits to help you improve your work environment for current and future staff. Here are seven ways to attract and retain top talent:
1. Flexible working for work/life balance
Research shows that flexible working is one of the top retention strategies for current employers. Flexible working hours, home working and the ability to work in other locations can help staff spend more time with family or on themselves, which promotes a greater sense of wellbeing. With one in 10 fathers saying they’d quit their job after having a flexible working request turned down, it shows how important flexible working has become to employees and their mental health.
2. New technology
A recent study found that nearly a third of employees felt that out of date technology impacted their productivity and creativity: an important aspect of employee retention. This ties in closely to training and development, which ranks highly in job satisfaction. New technology is designed to make work easier and to facilitate mobile working more effectively, enabling collaboration from wherever your employees work.
3. Multifunctional task-focused spaces
From agile working and collaborative spaces to quiet zones and privacy booths, employees need different places to work for different tasks. Not all workplaces have the luxury of space to create these multiple areas but with so many adaptable solutions now available, businesses can utilise the benefits of moveable screens, multifunctional furniture and mobile storage to help employees optimise their work environment to suit their needs.
4. On-Site Facilities
Just as there is a need for different work areas, employees need a variety of break-out spaces and rest areas too. On-site gyms make fitness easier to achieve for employees, whilst company restaurants encourage employees to leave their desk and take a break through the day – both of which contribute to greater alertness during the workday. Workplace facilities such as an on-site bar, hairdresser, games room and masseuse are attractive perks to new employees as well as existing staff.
5. Workplace wellness program
Wellbeing initiatives are still big news in workplace design and employee retention strategy as research continues to show how important wellness programs are for better mental health at work. Workplace wellness comes in many forms, too. From the personalisation of workspaces to ergonomics, culture, connection and movement, it is important that the emotional and physical needs of employees are considered in the design of workplace wellness programs.
6. Health promoting interiors
From natural light and clean air to well-placed acoustic screens, and a connection to nature with office plants and greenery (biophilic design), employees work well in environments that promote health and wellbeing. The WELL standard shows just how important the interior of your office is to mental and physical comfort, and how it can impact the performance and work enjoyment of your employees.
7. Fun and financial employee perks
The best employee incentives are those that make existing staff feel valued. Employee rewards also show prospective recruits that your company is prepared to invest in its people, with the financial stability to do it. Whilst financial perks and discounts are popular, perks don’t necessarily need to be high ticket incentives. Birthdays off and extra-curricular activities like yoga, pottery classes and team sports have been shown to be amongst the most popular employee benefits.
When compiling your list of employee benefits, remember to consider the needs of multiple generations, personality types and roles. It’s not a one-size fits all. Balance and flexibility are key. Take a look at these recent workspace designs for examples of employee-focused workspaces: