In the last blog post about retaining employees through creating moments, we lined out the stats about how costly voluntary employee turnover is. It's not cheap. It's worth it to invest in your employees and provide a space where they feel valued and heard and have high work satisfaction.
Though much of how employees feel valued is through emotional connection and uplifting experiences, the physical environment in where you work can have a large impact on how you view work, how much one interact with coworkers and build relationships, and one's mental health.
A set aside place for a set aside activity
The type of space means something. Though you can grab some weights and do a workout anywhere (which as of lately, we are experiencing is a new adaptation we might have to become more accustomed to) having a set place for a set activity allows us to detach so we focus on the task at hand. If you routinely workout at the gym, on your drive to the gym your brain starts preparing your body for the activity that it knows is about to take place.
This is also why study tips encourage students of all ages to not study on their beds. If your bed is for sleeping, but you are mentally trying to be in that space and make your mind focus, it's hard to do do. Pepperdine posted an info-graphic a few years ago and wrote a post that references half a dozen studies and articles about why you shouldn't study in bed. Leave the bed for sleeping and the studying for somewhere else.
Yoga instructors encourage the same thing. Leaving phones and mentally allowing yourself to be present in that moment. To focus on your body, hear your breath and feel your feet physically connect with the world around you. Do we get the point? When we have a physical environment for a specific activity, our brains will start to prep us for that activity before entering that space. The goal is to establish a beneficial work environment in where employees feel that they are supported and can succeed.
Invest in your employees, not just your customers.
There are many businesses where the work environment is where customers are also, for example, a hair salon or a gym, or the entrance to an accounting firm. In the general area where customers are, it's very put together and presentable.
But what about back? The cubicles? The break area? The employee side?
The thought might be, "Well we don't have customers that come in and see this part of our building so it doesn't matter". Wrong! INVESTING IN YOUR EMPLOYEES HELPS YOU. Having a set aside space that looks and feels that it's dedicated to work helps performance. If employees perform better, you benefit. If employees enjoy their work culture, feel success and have a high satisfaction with work, they will stay longer which benefits your company.
Invest in the space where you expect your employees to perform.
Depending on your type of business or the space you are trying to create will determine how elaborate or simple you will design your space. It can range from walking into a completely different environment to a simple but cohesive office feel. By and largely, many business will put together a simplistic space, however, there is a difference between keeping things functional in a minimalist approach, and not wanting to design in. Is it a group of random left over chairs and desks that have been collected over the years, with an old company name poster hanging on the wall? If your space is just a place of misfits, where do you expect your employees to feel like they fit? You can keep it very functional, but create a uniform feel within the space with wall paper, murals, images on the walls, etc. Below are a hand full of offices and spaces that we have done printing for to show some practical ways to update your office space.
Investing in creating a consistent and positive work space is important. Keep your employees by giving them somewhere to perform, somewhere to build and somewhere to belong.
Catch next week's blog where we dive into how designs can encourage creativity, collaboration and promote mental health. Included is an interview from an employee's experience at one of the most notoriously unique work spaces: Google.