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Linking Workplace Design and Business Strategy

Savvy companies recognize that workspaces contribute to a progressive business strategy. That is to say, an office environment influences productivity, attraction and engagement of staff. It reflects the culture and brand decisions that impact a company’s bottom line.

It’s time to balance business and employee needs in the office. To start, think about who uses the space. Then, think about new or different work behaviors you would like to see.

Consider, where are your staff physically working? For example, are they in the office, at home, or on the road? Then think, does your office environment drive engagement, empowerment and fulfillment? As indicated by JLL’s Workplace – Powered by Human Experience, these three concepts are attributes most valued by employees around the world. They are linked to the productivity of staff and the culture of a workplace.

With this in mind, here’s what you need to keep in mind when in a physical workspace.

Designing the workplace

When designing the workplace, “think about the workplace as a combination of process and experience,” says Marcus Foley, director of PDM at JLL. “Often, workplace design tends to focus on one at the expenses of the other. We must consider how light, space, acoustics, color and style can deliver experiences for clients.”

Today, offices are no longer sterile, corporate environments. Instead, they incorporate aspects of the home, restaurants, hotels, and even airport lounges. These are places where we feel comfortable and form bonds with other people.

Steps to take now

For any manager, there’s a lot to consider. Here are some suggested steps for beginners:

Start with your employees.

First, find out what they need in the workplace to be supported in their daily work. Next, empower them by getting their input on workplace decisions. Then provide the best workplace solutions that meets your business needs. These solutions should also engender engagement, empowerment and fulfillment.

Consider sustainable design from the outset.

When designing, think green walls, reclaimed building materials, water features and plants. Energy-tracking tools that help you measure energy use are good for the environment. They will also be key to helping your organization meet their sustainability targets.

Engage a team of workplace professionals.

To cultivate engagement, let your team help you achieve your goals. Let them play a role in balancing all aspects including workplace planning, budget, design, and managing change.

Keep mobility and flexibility at the front of mind.

Spaces should serve multiple purposes. Think company meeting by day, a function or relaxed staff drinks by night.

Be adaptable.

Accept that whatever your solution, you’ll likely update it every 2-5 years. Advancements in technology, employee experience, competition for top talent and market developments will force this.

Be bold, be courageous.

The truth is, nobody likes change. The initial stage of inertia can be difficult to overcome, but it will be worth it. And don’t forget, while the outcome is important, enjoy the process too.

Learn more about the best ways to build employee experience in the workplace.

5 Ways to Drive Employee Experience

3 Ways to Build the Workspace of the Future

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