Procurement 19 April 2017

How to retain staff with your office design

Office design
The right office design is central to a company’s identity and can have significant impact on employee retention

Behind every successful business is a hard-working team surrounded by a positive company culture, making it every entrepreneur’s job to ensure that their workplace reflects the right values.

Staff who feel that they’re recognised for their professional achievements are far more likely to remain loyal to the company, and it’s effective employee retention which will allow a startup to truly flourish.

From showing your appreciation on a regular basis to ensuring that staff have the facilities to work effectively, starting as you mean to go on is crucial for any early-stage business. Writing for Business Advice, Phil White, managing director at Novell Coffee, breaks down the cost-effective ways you can create a happy and motivational atmosphere through your office design.

  1. Create social spaces

Workplace productivity goes hand in hand with making full use of downtime, and that means that business-owners seeking success should be actively encouraging staff to regularly take a genuine timeout from their work.

Designating a section of the office as a space for staff to socialise during coffee and lunch breaks means your employees won’t be tempted to check their emails – so, when they return to their desks, your team will feel refreshed and ready to take on their next task.

  1. Design adaptable workspaces

With the rise of hot-desking and remote-working, assigning each staff member a particular desk within the office has fast become a thing of the past – and as businesses begin to take on more and more millennials, it’s time to change the layout of the office once again.

Flexibility will be at the forefront of this generation, which is why offering workspaces which can be altered to meet each employee’s specific needs is so important for staff retention.

From offering lap desks for communal sofas to retaining the traditional table format, giving your staff access to a variety of ways to work means that they’ll feel valued by the company – and consequently increase in their productivity.

  1. Encourage collaboration

“Together everyone achieves more” may be considered a tired cliché by many, but there’s a reason teamwork is so highly valued in the world of business. While independent work will have its benefits, collaborative efforts encourage creativity – meaning your team can quickly come up with the most effective solutions.

Communicating opinions and ideas is an invaluable practice within working environments – and by actively encouraging sharing with a central hub in the office, your startup will be able to benefit from these open communication channels.

From engineered eavesdropping in the staff canteen to using a circular table to create a collaborative space for team meetings, inviting all your team to get involved wherever they can will create an approachable atmosphere and improve overall employee retention.

  1. Invest in the right technology

Alongside rental overheads, technology is often one of the most expensive outgoings for any startup – but for a business to succeed, up-to-date tech is a must.

From emailing clients to communicating with different members of the team, giving your staff access to a range of devices and communication channels will allow each team member to work in whichever way they find most effective.

Free instant messaging services, for instance, will only require access to the internet – but by offering an alternative to your office IT system, staff will be able to streamline internal and external communications. This way, you can say goodbye to any reply-all email blunders in the future.

  1. Let the outside in

Traditional office design may have “professionalism” in mind but, with air quality and access to natural light known to affect productivity, contemporary office design often places great emphasis on reconnecting with nature.

From opting for a neutral colour scheme which will reflect natural light around the room to treating each workspace to a living plant, adding a fresh and natural look to your office design will inspire employees and make them feel more engaged with the business.

Better yet, these small and powerful office updates mean you won’t have to break the bank to boost productivity and hold onto the key talent in your team.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect startup office or considering a redesign of your current setup, a carefully thought-out office space can allow you to overhaul your company culture – having a profound long-term impact on positivity and ensuring that every member of your team understands the value they bring to the table.

Phil White is managing director at Novell Coffee, supplier of Nespresso compatible capsules in the UK and beyond

Looking for further inspiration on office design? Read these four tips for inspiring creativity in the workplace

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