Published Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, by Mike Sullivan.
Employee engagement is a buzzword that packs power in corporations large and small.
You can help companies improve employee engagement by creating destinations of choice at your business center and, in doing so, make your business center itself a destination of choice.
Let’s first look at how vital employee engagement really is – and how workspace can impact it. According to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), companies that employ open office layouts and work-from-home strategies are achieving not only increases in space utilization, employee engagement, and retention, but decreases in employee misconduct.
A survey, entitled ‘Influence of Workplace Design & Practices on the Ethical Environment’ jointly conducted by Ethisphere Institute and Jones Lang LaSalle, reveals that open workplace strategies are increasingly gaining favor among corporations. In particular, it is resonating with organizations that are seeking to simultaneously improve corporate culture, morale, and productivity while reducing the costs and environmental impacts associated with an oversized real estate footprint.
“The move towards a more collaborative office design featuring open workspaces, team rooms, and common areas has gained even more traction within the last few years as companies look to reduce costs through increased space utilization without compromising productivity,” says Patricia Roberts, executive vice president, Strategic Consulting at JLL. “In fact, the survey found that more than one-third of companies transitioned from closed offices to open plans just within the last five years.”
But not all open workspaces are created equal. Not all open workspaces drive employee engagement and productivity. Bernice Boucher, a member of the global workplace strategy board with responsibility for the Americas at Jones Lang LaSalle, likes to point out that if workplaces are dull, monotonous and uninspiring, people won’t want to come to the office, and consequently may balk at policies that require face time.
“It’s tough to have constructive conflict through virtual means only,” she says. “An investment in shaping culture through workplaces that are truly destinations can protect one of the most valuable assets of any organization: its cultural identity and sense of community. Many major corporations have been focusing their workplace policies and investment on enticing people to ‘come back’ to the office. But there should not be a black and white choice between the office and telecommuting. Flexibility is here to stay.”
Business centers offer the ultimate in flexibility, but is it time to redesign some of your space to drive a more open environment that encourages creativity and collaboration? Survey your major clients and find out their views on the evolution of office space, as well as their initiatives to drive employee engagement. Then consider how you can best forward that vision within the confines of your office planning strategies.
Image – the beautiful Vendome business center in Paris