Hiring is about more than identifying and interviewing available talent; it is about allowing them to interview you as well. Placing the right candidates in the right roles in your company can mean the difference between tenure and turnover, success and failure. And finding the right fit is exactly that: a fit between two pieces. Just as you carefully examine a potential employee’s resume, review professional references, and evaluate past achievements, the top candidate is researching you as well. From assessing the location of the office and the offerings of the immediate area, to researching reviews posted by current employees that discuss the benefits of the workplace, to carefully considering the work life integration you offer -- you are being analyzed.
How do today’s companies ensure they are attractive to candidates? Elements of the physical office space and location are making a difference in where employees choose to work. Since work-life integration has replaced work-life balance, employees are looking to the workplace to promote success through mental, emotional, social, and physical elements. Programs like employee recognition, ongoing education, and technology trends will permeate the workplace in 2018, but don't discount the importance of physical workspace and surroundings in attracting and retaining top talent.
There is not one office design or layout that is the most effective. However, specific elements continue to be incorporated into the design of the workspace so that it is more than just functional, but “can be used as a recruiting and employee engagement tool.” The following is a list of popular workplace features that are making an impact on potential employees in 2018.
The #1 workplace trend for success in 2018 according to Forbes is human interaction. Engaging employees is shown as a key to their success and the success of your overall business. Providing collaborative spaces in your office encourages creativity and promotes teamwork. Companies that have adopted this successfully have included spaces such as:
- Large and small conference rooms
- Creative brainstorming/team rooms
- Comfortable lounge areas
- Community spaces with food or beverages nearby
- Outdoor community spaces
If there is a coffee shop or restaurant, public park or outdoor space nearby, some companies have chosen to stream wifi to these areas so employees can have the flexibility to work together comfortably offsite.
Focus on Wellbeing
Another 2018 workplace trend will be the prioritization of mental wellness in the workplace. The main reason for this trend is that recent studies have shown that 84% of employees have experienced physical or psychological wellness concerns that have caused them to miss work. Millennials in the workforce are especially interested in a space that integrates wellness into its culture. The following elements have proven to be critical in bringing wellness to the physical workspace.
- Natural Light increases mental energy and productivity.
- Colors can be used strategically to promote relaxation (in a community area or lounge), mental sharpness (in a conference room) or creativity (in a brainstorming space).
- Ergonomic Chairs decrease muscle fatigue and pain.
- Standing and/or mobile desks and workstations have proven effective when hiring Millennial talent as 79% of these prospects prefer to be mobile than static at work.
- Green space improves air quality and reduces stress.
- Walkability is a factor for urban offices that incentivize employees to walk outdoors to a nearby park or restaurant during the day.
- Power Nap Rooms have been added to offices that often see employees working longer hours.
Visibility and Openness
The World Health Organization links work-related stress directly to how supported employees feel by their supervisors and whether they feel heard regarding work processes. In the initial interview process when a top candidate visits an office space, the following elements are being increasingly integrated in order to promote a positive employee-supervisor relationship:
- Glass windows, glass doors
- Open concept floor plans
- Half walls rather than floor-to-ceiling walls
- Open doors, especially of managers and supervisors
- Visible supervisors
Communication and a positive relationship with managers is a major factor in decreasing turnover and reducing work-related stress. Office space elements can show potential hires a culture of transparency.
While there is not a textbook on the right office design or layout, employers are incorporating more and more of the above features into their physical workplace to attract and retain top talent.