Attracting and retaining the right talent is one of the most significant challenges faced by most employers. Human resources remain the backbone of any business – even in an age where innovative technologies reign supreme.
The needs and wants of modern employees are different than they were decades or even years ago. Prospective recruits and employed professionals are increasingly wanting more than just a competitive salary package. Now that flexible offices have established themselves as a worthy alternative to the traditional office, employers and employees enjoy more choice than ever before.
In today’s article, we’ll be looking at some of the ways in which flexible offices can help shape workplace satisfaction, positively impacting employers’ retention rate in the process. Let’s get started with our first point.
1. Increased engagement
One of the most significant characteristics setting flexible offices apart is their willingness to break with traditional conventions. Whereas traditional offices have often been associated with the dreaded cubicle and a one-size-fits-all philosophy, flexible offices often take a completely different approach.
That willingness to do things a little differently can impact employee satisfaction in a number of ways. Employee engagement – which can be roughly defined as the level of enthusiasm an employee experiences in their work environment – is one of the areas in which flexible offices can excel. According to a global report by Steelcase, that same engagement is directly correlated with workplace satisfaction.
There are many factors at play in determining the level of engagement an employee experiences in the workplace, but flexibility, autonomy and diversity are all considered potential drivers. Flexible offices deliver in each of these areas through providing the facilities needed to take a flexible and autonomous approach to working life. At the same time, flexible offices’ defiance of the traditional one-size-fits-all philosophy also help them lay the foundations for improved workplace diversity.
2. Improved collaborative potential
The people we work with play an important role in shaping our wellbeing at work, so much so that close relationships in the workplace are thought to improve happiness and decrease stress. Successful collaboration plays a key role in the delivery of almost every project, as well as providing a basis for positive relationships to develop.
Like many other types of flexible office, coworking spaces are helping to elevate collaborative potential to the next level, for example through facilitating collaboration between employees working for different organisations. The collaborative benefits of flexible offices don’t stop there; they offer ample scope for internal collaboration as well.
Moving collaborative areas away from traditional meeting and boardrooms – for example in the form of dedicated brainstorming areas or open collaborative spaces – flexible workspaces are vastly expanding the potential for collaborative working. That means more flexibility in working together creatively, strengthening relationships along the way.
3. Room for adaptation
The lack of adaptability is one of the core issues faced by traditional office spaces, but the popularity of their flexible counterparts is helping to turn the tide. Flexible office spaces have often been explicitly designed to offer occupants leeway in shaping their office space to their own unique needs. The common lack of long-term commitments is a prime example of this.
The importance of adaptability is also relevant to employees themselves. Different people have different workplace requirements, and flexible offices are better able to cater to these needs. Whether it takes the form of movable walls, unassigned desks or greater flexibility in managing business growth, adaptability is fast becoming the new norm. Helping employees enjoy greater flexibility and autonomy, the result is likely to have a positive impact on job satisfaction and employee retention.
4. First-rate facilities
The facilities an office is able to provide can have a significant impact on employee satisfaction. Employees are likely to become frustrated if they lack the facilities needed to do their job well, so it’s important for any business to get them right.
Although most offices cover essentials such as high-speed internet and dedicated phone lines, flexible offices can offer a wealth of additional facilities that help attract and retain great talent.
Richard Smith is the CEO & founder of leading office brokers Office Freedom. He believes that flexible office spaces can play a large role in helping businesses to grow their workforce and keep employees happy.
He states: “…the sector is now full of predominantly unbranded space that can accommodate much larger requirements, providing high-end contemporary space with state-of-the-art technology, amenities and facilities that are ideal platforms for nurturing and retaining existing talent and attracting new talent.”
Today, some of the best serviced offices in London, New York and many other major cities offer a range of facilities that may have once seemed unimaginable. On-site gyms and restaurants, rooftop meeting spaces, creative breakout areas and dedicated networking spaces are just a few examples. Silicon Valley game developer Zynga even offers arcade-style gaming facilities – but those are definitely optional.
Given access to the right facilities, employees benefit from a more attractive work environment that helps them get the very best out of both working hours and break time. Businesses who fall short of providing these facilities are unlikely to retain their competitive edge, potentially losing talent to a rival business.
Building a long-term workforce
Successfully building an engaged, long-term workforce is far from easy. Having said that, the type of office space employers choose can make a difference in determining whether or not they are able to retain their employees. Luckily, flexible offices are increasingly helping employers to provide a more attractive package that appeals to the needs of modern professionals.