In a recent Entrepreneur article, John Rampton talks about how company culture attracts top talent, investors, and customers, ultimately impacting the bottom line for your business. He also talks about the open-office concept and how this layout, in fact, hinders productivity. Based on our experience and what we preach to our clients every day, he is spot-on.
Did you know that 76% of people hate the open office concept, saying they can’t concentrate? This along with the fact that 70% of the corporate workforce not being engaged means that productivity is at an all-time low, wasting time, money, and resources that you can’t afford. Company culture, office space, and productivity are all inexplicably linked.
Recently we were hired by a large, reputable corporation to assist with planning their transition into new headquarters to accommodate their growth. In a planning meeting, a VP suggested hiring a firm to monitor the movement of their employees. The CEO reacted quickly, indicating that is exactly what they don’t want to do and why they hired our firm to talk to employees about culture and productivity in the first place.
“We want to understand what our employees need to be productive in the new space,” said the CEO. “If they are happy, our customers will notice.” He went on to say that monitoring staff movement currently was a waste of money and time.
The CEO was also not impressed by the open-office concept, understanding that a majority of his employees need private office space due to client confidentiality. While the open office has become popular over the past decade, Rampton advises leadership to offer variety and not follow the trend, instead designing your workspaces for specific activities.
It’s best to survey employees to find out the best fit for them. What’s working and what’s not? Do needs vary by department? What prevents employees from feeling like they have a “sense of space” in the office?
By creating the opportunity to gather feedback, you’re not only building a culture of transparency, but it will help you design a workplace environment that facilitates and encourages productivity. Relocation Strategies offers a proprietary Workplace Productivity Analysis® to gather these invaluable responses.
In working with a variety of organizations, we’ve noticed that many of them jumped on the open-office bandwagon, believing the myth that this setting would foster collaboration and innovation when, in the end, all it offered was frustration and distraction.
Taking the time to understand your culture, your employees, and the needs of your company are crucial. If you have not had the discussion regarding workplace culture and productivity, it may be time to do so or you may risk losing hardworking employees. According to survey data collected by Bospar, 18% of people surveyed would pursue a new job to have a favorable workspace.
As a corporate office space decision-maker, do you see your trendy office space compromising employee workspace and productivity (not to mention budget)? Remember that workspace culture + productivity = company profit. Relocation Strategies can be advocates for those who are frustrated or unsure what to do. Our team of designers transforms spaces into better workplace environments, helping companies thrive and maximize productivity.