Office Space an Experience that Reflects Company PillarsWed, 04/24/2019 - 12:48
Office space needs to be understood as an experience and must reflect the organization’s pillars, with an understanding that a company’s workers are internal shoppers, Andrea Soria, Senior Workplace Knowledge Consultant at HermanMiller, told Mexico Talent Forum 2019, as she reflected on how office space impacts workers’ efficiency and productivity.
“When employees have the necessary tools and an office space truly designed for their activities, productivity can increase up to 25 percent,” said Soria at the Hotel Marquis Reforma in Mexico City on Wednesday.
Soria said that there are five key issues related to space that change the user experience within organizations. The first is attracting and retaining talent, which Soria says is related directly to mobility within the office. “When people are able to move freely within the office and can choose where to sit, they are more productive.” Innovation is also impacted by an office’s space. “Workers are more creative when the office space is non-traditional.”
The implementation of the so-called people can interact around a nice coffee bar or station within offices also has led to an increase in worker efficiency and allows the creation of an emotional bond with coworkers, which also lowers employee turnover. “People with strong emotional connections in their workspace can take up to two more years to quit their jobs even if they do not like it. More importantly, a sense of community can lead to a 28 percent increase in productivity.”
Soria said that these spaces also foster communication and impact knowledge transfer while also strengthening the connection between employees and the brand or company. However, for these spaces to work, Soria said that there needs to be a change in the way companies measure employees. “We need to start measuring our employees based on results rather than by traditional visual control.”
Despite the positive impact on businesses from technology and work mobility, these elements are also leading to an underuse of office space. “In Mexico, on average 25 percent of offices are not used correctly. An efficient management and use of office space could lead to up to 30 percent of savings in real estate that could be better used for talent development.”
Part of the change Soria suggests for traditional office spaces include meeting rooms. She points out that collaboration between workers happens mostly in workstations rather than in meeting rooms. “Meeting rooms in offices tend to be oversized. According to our studies, around 75 percent of meetings tend to include only three people, while most rooms are designed for eight to 10 people.” Soria said that new technologies, such as IoT, can provide important information regarding the way office spaces are used for better planning.
More importantly, Soria said that implementing IoT solutions in an office can boost wellness. “Having a living office can lead to mobile spaces that generate physical activities and allows workers to mold the office to their preferences.”