As industries are changing, so are employees’ needs and expectations of their workplace.
It’s no longer enough to offer a foosball table or kombucha on tap — today’s employees aren’t looking for flashy gimmicks in the workplace. They’re looking for meaningful missions to champion and forward-thinking spaces that will enable them to perform their life’s best work.
Companies can address these needs by transforming their workspaces. Through people-focused design and an emphasis on environments that support different ways of working, employers can be well on their way to fostering more productive — and happier — employees.
M Moser Associates, a global leader in office and workplace design, has helped countless companies and their employees through transformations. During a conversation with Daily Hive, Nabil Sabet, M Moser’s Group Director, said, “Companies all around are realizing that their workspaces are now a business resource, not just a cost — and that they play a crucial role in inspiring their people.”
Here are four ways M Moser Associates sees companies evolving their workplaces to enhance the employee experience.
Culture as the operating system
A high-performance office is as much about the actual physical space as it is about how people feel in that space. And office culture is a big part of that. After all, an office space is no longer just a place where people can work and accomplish tasks, but rather, a social environment that brings different people together to collaborate on great things.
There is no one-size-fits-all, as workplace culture is unique to each organization (what works for a tech start-up won’t likely work for a corporate financial firm). Spaces should not just house this culture but promote it, too.
The result is an environment that not only encourages employees to stick around but to also grow with the company.
Implement sustainable and wellness-minded practices
Part of being a forward-looking, change-embracing employer and office means implementing practices that are sustainable and environmentally conscious. It’s 2020, and this is what employees are looking for.
“The bar has been raised and it’s no longer about greenwashing,” says Sabet. Which is to say, we need real change to support people’s health and wellness, not just change that nods to sustainability.
This touches everything from the furniture to the cutlery, to the usage of energy and policies around waste management and single-use plastics.
Sabet continues, “We need to look at the entire life cycle of our projects and design sustainability and wellness — in not only in the physical space but also in how it will be operated.”
Inspire experimentation and innovation
“Almost all of our clients’ businesses are being disrupted in some way, shape or form and the key for their survival and future is to embody a spirit of invention and experimentation,” says Sabet. “It’s imperative that the spaces we create drive those innovative behaviours and support the necessary research and development activities.”
Dedicating specific spaces to research and development, implementing flexible spaces for brainstorming and ideation, and encouraging employees to take risks are just a few ways in which innovation can take root.
This comes to life through physical elements, too. Moveable walls, room for storage, and large tables set on castors will provide ample opportunities for movement, testing, and experimentation. M Moser says that providing these kinds of spaces “supports a culture of constant experimentation [leading to] faster innovation cycles.”
Encourage and embrace change
In addition to providing flex spaces, encouraging staff to have greater control over their own environments is a great way to empower employees to make those adjustments they need to best suit their workflow, collaboration, and focus.
In today’s rapidly changing business world, M Moser suggests you should think of the “office as a space that’s never quite finished, so it’s ready to be hacked, adjusted, and updated as things move forward.”
The firm’s New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver offices are a few examples of an ever-changing workplace that will bend to suit staff’s needs, rather than a fixed space that will always function in the same way.
If industries are constantly changing, chances are, employees and the work they do are too — and so should the workspace. In a constantly-changing landscape, these guiding principles identified by M Moser Associates will help companies keep up with employee’s expectations.