Does office Interior Design affect productivity, attract new talent and retain staff?

Does office Interior Design affect productivity, attract new talent and retain staff?

Employers are becoming increasingly aware that office interior design can not only help retain staff, but can also attract new talent.
Everyone has a different style of working and it has long been recognised that diverse working styles within a team can have a positive impact. According to Harvard Business Review there are four types of working styles within any office:

Logical, analytical, and data-oriented
Organised, plan-focused, and detail-oriented
Supportive, expressive, and emotionally-oriented
Strategic, integrative, and idea-oriented

Each of these four working styles have their positives and negatives, but every team needs a combination of each different working styles to bring new ideas to the group. Matthew Glenny, Associate Director of London Unlimited, explains, “Typically staff have been organised by job function, but productivity is now being understood more in the context of how people are organised around activities. This means needing quiet rooms – for anyone – when concentration is needed or more collaborative spaces when ideas need throwing around”. With this in mind, it is important that the office environment nurtures and enhances each of these working styles. Equally, an office space needs to allow space for employee downtime.

It is human nature to be sensitive to your environment. We seek to be in certain environments to suit the mood we are in, for example, in our homes we seek comfort, security and positivity. However, we don’t always have control on the environments we are in and sometimes environments can have a negative impact on a person’s mood. Neil Morrison, Human Resources Director at Penguin Random House, says, “Our surroundings continually affect how we feel, whether it’s in our homes, the countryside or even in our cars, so to think it shouldn’t happen in the office would be very strange”.

More than 80% of the UK’s offices are based in urban environments which means employees need to ensure their office stands out from amongst the crowd. On average, UK employees are expected to work 48 hour weeks; that’s 29% of our week spent at work and, for most, that is only a minimum. In some companies employees may have the option to work remotely, meaning that they aren’t necessarily based in an office, however the recent Happy Office survey revealed that flexible working left employees feeling “disconnected from colleagues” and 66% of people admitted to having a lack of productivity outside of the workplace.

Office design not only retains staff, but can also attract new talent to your business. Everyone knows that first impressions count and when we interview new talent we expect them to turn up well presented, so why shouldn’t this principle be the same for the employer? It is easy to forget that an interview is a two way process and that the interviewee is also deciding on whether they want to work for your company or not. According to Human Spaces, 33% of workers say that office design can significantly impact their decision to accept a job offer. Denis O’Flynn, UK Managing Director of Pernod Ricard, explains, “Since moving 18 months ago to our new Chiswick HQ our turnover of people has halved”.

There is significant evidence that Office Interior Design can greatly impact employee productivity, as well as staff retention and the attraction of new talent. As a result of this, it is essential for an employer to implement a positive work environment, whether that be the lighting, décor or temperature to reflect the company’s core values.

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