Crafting the optimum space for a team to thrive
September is a notoriously busy month in real estate; summer holidays are fast becoming a distant memory and everyone's in back to work - and school - mode.
Outside of Jan, Google Trends show new job searches tend to peak in September, so there’s a strong argument in favour of creating the right office environment to attract the right talent, and more importantly: retain them, at this time of year.
The key is to make it attractive yet functional, and unless you want your business turning into a meme, avoid any thinking that something like a pizza party solves everything in contributing to staff happiness.
So, what can brands do to help seal the deal for any potential or new team members?
👉 Flexibility first - Take a step back. Before you even look at your office space you need to consider the following from an external point of view:
How does your office complement your hybrid working policy?
Although we’ve personally seen many clients speak about the benefits of having a high quality office as their communal base several times a week, people do want flexibility in their working lives.
Considering how the office complements this for anyone looking to join your team is vital; it needs to be set up to encourage collaboration, drive inspiration and be equipped appropriately for those working remotely, with top tech for seamless communication.
Creating a space where flexibility and choice is high on the agenda will undoubtedly be a top selling point for anyone looking from the outside in.
👉 Craft an inspiring, highly personalised environment - Essential in a hybrid world, fostering an inspiring environment can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is pretty essential if the goal is to encourage the team to come in more.
Inspiration comes in many different forms depending on the individual; from office design, where you bring the outside in with plenty of leafy foliage and maximum natural light, to creating a buzzy atmosphere with communal open-plan spaces, it’s about getting the balance right and ensuring the existing team and any new members will enjoy being there, which in turn will likely encourage more IRL days.
Hotelification: A fancy term for office space veering more towards a hospitality angle and one you may have heard before (perhaps on our LinkedIn), hotelification is something an increasing amount of providers and asset owners have taken on board when it comes to office design. Incorporating the same luxurious experience you’d expect when visiting somewhere like a hotel is a sure-fire way to garner attention from others.
👉 Think creatively - Of course, any creative business needs their workspace to reflect exactly this. Many brands are now leaning towards multi-purpose offices, utilising space for events, or film, photography or podcast studios.
Several of our clients have this front of mind when they’ve commenced their search, and office providers and asset owners are increasingly understanding the importance and need for it, and subsequently implementing it into spaces as a big selling point.
If you’re expanding a creative team don’t get left behind; plenty of businesses have integrated creative spaces or areas within their offices which serve as an appealing benefit to anyone looking to join your brand.
👉 Encourage that collaborative buzz - Office days are for socialising, WFH is for thinking, is something The Guardian recently reported on, and when recently speaking to two of our clients - iChoosr and Pollen & Company - both said creating a space which drives that energy and buzz amongst the team was a must-have when searching for the right office.
Although each brand has different drivers when it comes to the workplace, we can’t deny the benefits of in-person relationship-building and collaboration, which is always better face to face.
An amenities-rich space will only add to this - On-site gym classes, team lunches and after-work events all harness the power of collaboration outside of working hours too.
👉 Foster a purpose-driven environment - For many of the office providers and asset owners we work with, having a purpose ranks high on the agenda and goes hand-in-hand with brands looking to attract the latest generation of talent across Millennials and Gen Z.
Take sustainability for example; it’s now one of the most-asked about topics within the office world, and spans not just the space’s green credentials but wellbeing and social factors too.
Gen Z are heavily invested in their impact on the working world - something Deloitte recently reported on - so equipping the office with the likes of wellness rooms, an emphasis on biophilia or inclusive areas of space which enable team members to work in line with their individual needs all ladders up not just to that purpose-driven environment, but also a positive impact on employee wellbeing.
Ultimately, creating a workspace where the team can thrive should be high if not top of the agenda for brands looking to maximise their office space, and attract and retain talent.
We’re observing more and more clients reap the rewards of investing in high quality space (you can read our CEO James Townsend’s views on this and more via his Maddyness UK piece), where they can nurture teamwork and collaboration, and although staff retention is not solely based on where you work, it does play a big part.
So be adaptable, creative, and open to new thinking when it comes to crafting the perfect space.