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Revamping Your Office Environment: An Unexpected Way to Attract and Retain Top Talent

revamp office design


You probably wouldn’t have seen this one coming, but one of the latest corporate pushes has surfaced, and it comes in the form of restylizing your office environment.  Not for the mere sake of aesthetics, mind you, but rather as a draw for top talent.

That’s right.  Companies are starting to catch on that it matters to potential recruits what the office layout and dynamics are where they will be working.  Not only is de-centralizing/de-segregating an office setup a proven strategy to improve collaborative dynamics for a team, it is also a sought-after and productivity-enhancing environment for today’s workforce.

Within five years, the average amount of space each employee will need will drop to 150 square feet (down from 400 in 1985). Not that it would seem to matter, because 60 percent of today’s employees aren’t even using their assigned workspaces.  More employees than ever are working remotely, and companies will cash in big on overhead savings by minimizing their office space.

The very universally-accepted open office model is going away to make room for the more versatile and multi-faceted work space that offers workers more options. Not surprisingly, not everyone works best in the same kind of space, and more distraction-free lounge-work areas featuring flexible furniture are the latest thing.

Long story short: investing in a happier and more productive workforce through enhanced office spaces will go a long way to attracting and keeping the best talent in years to come.  Following are five very affordable ways you can improve your office’s feng shui.

Happy employees are productive employees

Revamping your office space doesn’t have to be expensive.  Small and simple changes, such as placing meeting areas near windows, or investing in some softer furniture, and bright, relaxing colors for your walls and furniture will go a long way to improving the “home-iness” of your office.  You can also consider improving the plantlife around your office to improve liveliness and airflow are also a huge boon.

Encouraging outdoor access for a quick breath of fresh air if possible, and this option can help the attitudes and outlook of your team.

Furthermore, your employees can thrive and engage within the right company culture and sense of belonging in a community, one that you can help create.

Wellness is an Amenity

Work/life balance is not just a catchphrase, it is an increasingly valued commodity among modern professionals.  Being more flexible with your employees about how, when, and where they work will go a long way in helping them achieve this kind of balance.

Technology is such today that it is easier than ever for employees to work from anywhere, and at any time.  Airports, home living rooms, coffee shops, etc., can all be considered viable workspaces, assuming there is a decent and accessible Wifi signal.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Rather than issuing standardized equipment to everyone in the office, BYOD is a growing trend that encourages companies to provide their employees with favorite laptops/tablets/mobile devices, etc., of their employees’ choosing.  Who doesn’t work better with devices that you’re familiar and comfortable with?  There might be some security obstacles to resolve, but plan on increased productivity, creativity, and overall worker satisfaction.

Work Zones

People tend to work better in different environments and at different times of the day, and their productivity can even depend upon what kind of task they may be working on.  You can create different kinds of work zones within your office to enhance conditions for working on different kinds of projects.

What might that look like?  How about some flexibility in the form of quieter zones for individual tasks, and informal meeting spaces to encourage collaborative efforts?  This kind of flexibility can help the flow of ideas and productivity.

 Break Out Spaces

Specific “break out” areas facilitate employees getting away from their desks for periodic breathers.  Providing filtered water, coffee, and tea will welcome your employees to stay in the office for breaks.  These areas are also great ways to facilitate unintended interactions amongst employees can end up producing very surprising and creative results. Your employees will feel more pampered and appreciated, too.

Purists need not fear: the traditional centralized office hub where your workforce can meet and collaborate is not going away anytime soon.  But remember that being more flexible with your employees’ routines and schedules will only add to their sense of independence and of being trusted and valued.  And that’s how you retain the talent that you really want.

Have any ideas for how to refashion an office space to help with productivity?  We’d love to hear about it!

Related Article: How to Engage and Retain New College Grads


  • Jonathan W. Crowell