As office atmosphere and culture are becoming major selling points for workers, companies are paying more attention to the design and layout of their work areas. In Europe, activity-based workspaces are popping up everywhere. These enable employees to roam from desk to sofa, to the café to a private pod, depending upon the activity they need to complete. Sounds like something your employees would like?
Activity-based workspaces are part of a shared office environment, where cubicles and defined work areas are being replaced with open spaces, vegetation, and easy access to the outdoors. Why? Research shows that offering workers flexible work space can improve creativity and innovation, and decrease stress. In addition, this benefit has been shown to attract talent.
On a recent trip to Seattle, I had the pleasure of seeing Amazon’s Spheres, which opened in January 2018 at its headquarters. The dwelling, which features a river and waterfall, and more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of 30 countries, enables workers to collaborate in nature – no desks, enclosed offices or conferences spaces. The idea is to cultivate office space that fosters a connection to the natural world, to the delight of a growing employee base.
In addition to improving creativity and innovation, and decreasing stress, open space and vegetation increases engagement. Employees want to work for a firm that cares about its people, their experience at work, and is on the cutting edge. Is this your organization?
WHAT CAN I DO? As you embark on your employee engagement journey and create your strategy, or take your strategy to the next level, include people in your organization from Facilities Management or Real Estate. This will enable you to include elements in your strategy that take into account your employee’s workspace. Non-Amazon employees may tour The Spheres in Seattle through their free weekend open house program. To arrange your unguided visit, use the online reservation system.
The original version of this article first published on Jill Christensen International.