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Is Your Office Negatively Impacting Employee Experience?
March 17, 2022

Is Your Office Negatively Impacting Employee Experience?

More and more businesses are realizing that when it comes to employee experience and satisfaction, your office space can’t be an afterthought. 

After working from home during the pandemic, employees who are returning to a physical workspace have higher expectations for comfort, convenience, and amenities. Companies need to meet — or better yet, exceed — these expectations to provide the best possible experience.

Here, we’ll explore how the physical workspace impacts employee experience and provide some tips for creating the best possible workspace.

What is employee experience?

Before we dive into the effects of the physical workspace, let’s define employee experience and explain why it’s so important. 

In short, employee experience is exactly what it sounds like: the experiences employees have throughout the course of their tenure at an organization, from the interviewing and onboarding process to their very last day. A multitude of factors impact employee experience, including company culture, pay, benefits, tech stack, management style, and more.

Poor employee experience can have devastating impacts on the organization as a whole. For one thing, it leads to high employee turnover, which raises recruiting, onboarding, and training costs. Even employees who stay will have lower morale, which can then impact productivity, attendance, and profitability.

Positive employee experience, on the other hand, is correlated with positive business outcomes, like lower turnover and increased profitability.

How the physical workspace impacts employee experience

The physical workplace has been proven to impact stress levels, so providing the best possible physical environment to work in is now a priority for many organizations.

No two employees’ needs are exactly the same, but there are some general preferences organizations should keep in mind when choosing and designing their office space:

    • Layout – How office layout affects productivity has been a hot topic for years. Studies show that working in open-layout spaces without access to other spaces is bad for morale. Providing a combination of private and collaborative space is ideal — that way, employees can choose what space works best for them depending on their needs for the day. This is one of the many reasons why flexible workspaces are growing in popularity.
    • Lighting – Natural light is the #1 perk preferred by North American employees. 47% say they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light. If possible, choose an office space with plenty of natural light and follow best practices for office lighting.
    • Amenities – Access to amenities like free coffee, onsite cafeterias, and outdoor spaces can make a big difference for employees. This is especially important as people transition from WFH back to the office — convenience is key.
  • Location – The location of the workspace itself also matters. The ideal office will be located in an area where employees can easily run errands or have fun after work, with access to parking and/or public transit to lessen commuter stress.

Choosing an office space to foster a positive employee experience

If you’re looking to lease office space that employees will love, here are some features to add to your wishlist:

  • Natural light
  • A flexible, varied layout with access to both private and collaborative spaces and a variety of seating options
  • Amenities like on-site dining, free coffee and snacks, and fitness center access
  • Access to outdoor space like a terrace, courtyard, or garden area
  • A convenient location — preferably in a city center, close to parking, public transit, shopping, food, and entertainment

If you’re not sure which amenities are most important to your employees, conduct a survey to get a feel for their preferences.

Conclusion

Don’t discount the impact of your physical workspace on your organization as a whole — while a lot of factors impact employee experience, the physical environment in which people spend their workday is an important component.

From natural light to abundant amenities, be sure to choose an office space that will provide the best possible experience for employees. With happy employees who actually want to come to work, you’ll see positive results in your business as a whole.

With locations in Houston and Salt Lake City, The Square offers beautiful workspaces that will wow employees. Contact us to book a tour today.