Employee engagement more business critical than ever
Understanding what employees need from their office space helps businesses reach new levels of productivity and efficiency while attracting and retaining the right staff
As unemployment in Britain has continued to decline with recent figures revealing a further drop to 5.7 per cent, companies in the HR sector now place greater importance on talent attraction and retention.
Office space has become a key factor shaping this trend. According to research, the work environment is at par with salary when it comes to measuring employees’ job satisfaction. Employees are looking for offices that are technologically-equipped with collaborative working areas and break-out spaces that encourage interaction and knowledge-sharing rather than rigid workspaces. Research shows that 41 per cent of employees prefer to have access to team space, while 32 per cent prefer breakout spaces rather than a conventional meeting room.
Despite the high rating for collaborative spaces and the positive effects that these have on staff retention and productivity, it is estimated that unproductive meetings cost businesses $37bn every year. Double-booked meeting rooms or “no-shows”, for instance, affect not only productivity, but also have a direct link to staff morale. Employees now face stiff competition over meeting room booking, leading them to book rooms months in advance “just in case” and never actually using them, as well as “sharking” outside meeting rooms, waiting for them to become available. This causes frustration and has a negative impact on productivity and motivation. A survey commissioned by Condeco shows that typically around 20 per cent of meeting rooms booked out are not being used at any one time. This entails a real cost for businesses in the HR sector, that see their space being used inefficiently and their staff unable to make the most of their potential.
Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco Software comments: “People are the lifeblood of any organisation and attracting and retaining talented professionals is a number one priority for companies that aspire to be competitive under stiff competition. In the 21st century office, booking the right space for the employee and ensuring what is needed for each meeting, from catering to audio-visual and video-conferencing equipment can no longer be an arduous task”.
John Blackwell, Managing Director, Quora Consulting comments: “Our research has shown that work is increasingly resembling that of movie production teams – independent individuals with unique talents coming together to work on a project. At the end, they all go their separate ways – they might work together again in the future – they might not. This is placing ever-greater demands on effective space booking. Organisations that fail to equip themselves with the strategic thinking and planning to address this challenge risk stagnation.”
Condeco Software is the fastest growing company in workspace utilisation and space scheduling. Condeco’s out-of-the-box room and desk booking software launched in 2005 and secured rapid adoption by some of the world’s biggest brands. Its world-class solutions are driving a fundamental shift in the way companies work and use their office space, from ensuring high pressure meetings and flexible working plans run smoothly and efficiently, to providing essential real-time data on workspace usage vital for both short-term and long-term strategic planning.
Paul continues: “The office of the future is here already. The way people interact with their office space has shifted fundamentally and is becoming key in the post-recession era. Securing and retaining good quality staff is becoming equally important for businesses as saving money. By providing the ability to schedule what you need when you need it, companies enable their staff to have a seamless experience in the workspace. Businesses can no longer provide staff with allocated desks and computers and expect them to perform their best. Collaborative spaces, breakout areas and the availability of technological solutions that save time and simplify tasks can be vital drivers for boosting staff morale and can make a real difference in improving employee job satisfaction.
“Imagine an office where staff has to psychically check if a meeting room or a desk is available or where important meetings with clients and partners take place in corridors or in the café next doors because meeting rooms are double-booked. This is hardly the ideal workspace for today’s tech- savvy and mobile professionals who value user interfaces. Businesses need to take the next step and up the level of service and product offering they provide to their staff if they want to remain on the front foot of staff attraction, retention and productivity. With technology fast transforming the way we work and experience our office, businesses can no longer run on a steam train.”