Four Steps to Improve Your Workplace

by | 16 October 2017

Are you satisfied with your current workplace? The workplace has been a trending topic in the commercial real estate industry for the last few years. Tenants across the world are reimagining their office space to enhance the environment in which their employees work. For the most part, people will spend a third of their working lives in an office environment, so why not make it a pleasant place to work?

You might be interested in enhancing your workplace for a variety of reasons. Among the most popular reasons for renovating the workspace:

  • Increase and improve your recruitment and retention
  • Enhance or reimagine your company brand
  • Add amenities to your workplace
  • Improve the overall well-being of your space to create a healthier environment, thereby cutting down on lost productivity, healthcare costs and more

Whatever your goal might be, here are four steps to get you started.

Ask your employees what they want

Maybe this wasn’t a popular topic in the past, but today, more than ever, your staff will play the most crucial role in the success of your company. With millennials officially taking over the workplace, it’s important to understand what they want and what they need in their work environment to help them thrive. Further, at least for now, there are still baby boomers in the workplace. Ask them what they need to succeed. For some, a lack of private meeting space, new technologies and other changes and enhancements might be causing a great deal of stress and anxiety to their work.

Knowing this information will vastly improve your company’s ability to attract and retain talent. According to a 2015 article on Entrepreneur.com turnover costs are often estimated to be 100% – 300% of the base salary of the employee being replaced. Worse yet, 46% of new hires don’t last more than 18 months with a company and 89% of these incidents are due to a poor culture fit. It might behoove you to avoid these pitfalls by knowing what your current and future staff are looking for in a workplace.

Hire an interior designer

An interior designer can help create an environment that you could’ve never imagined on your own. So many of the offices that I walk into have bare walls, no branding and overall lack any features that make the workplace exciting. I’m not saying you need to spend an excessive amount of money, but try taking a couple of walls and designing them with your company vision, pictures of iconic buildings, landscapes or people from your market or visionary leaders that have helped shape your industry or your company. The closer your company feels to your brand, the more excited employees will be to work for your company.

Amenities, amenities, amenities

If your building lacks amenities you might need to think about bringing the amenities to your office. It can be scary to consider incurring this expense, but think of the ROI. Depending on the amenity, your staff will be happier, healthier and more excited to come to work than before. All of which will cut down on lack of productivity and will increase your bottom line. What kind of amenities would have the greatest impact? Think of catering breakfast or lunch one or two days per week to test it out. You can hire a personal trainer or a yoga instructor to conduct a class within your suite once a week. If you work in the city, create a bike share program. The possibilities are endless.

Wellness

Wellness in the workplace is a major factor in employee engagement and productivity. Without wellness, your employees will grow increasingly dissatisfied and the company will suffer from lower productivity, increased healthcare costs and increased absenteeism. According to the aforementioned Entrepreneur.com study, 70% of U.S. workers are disengaged at work which will cost the US an estimated $450 – $550 billion in annual productivity. Companies that invest in their workplace and have a happier workforce saw 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales and three times higher creativity.

Many companies are taking notice and beginning to focus on wellness. According to Structure Tone’s 2017 Sustainability, Resilience and Wellness report, 92% of respondents stated that wellness is either essential, mainstream or an emerging need when considering their real estate needs. Overall, 80% stated that wellness is a key part of their retention and recruitment plans.

The proof is in the proverbial pudding. If your employees are unhappy, disengaged and not in tune with your company’s brand and culture, you’re only setting yourself and your company up for failure. There has never been a better time to invest in your workplace. Your real estate advisor can talk you through the next best steps depending on your current lease structure and whether a renewal or relocation would provide the best opportunity to reimagine your new workplace.

Based in Princeton, N.J., Vinny specializes in tenant and landlord representation for Colliers International, working directly with his clients in the acquisition and disposition of office space. For more commercial real estate insight and trends, follow Vinny on Twitter.