How can businesses tackle this looming crisis? The answer lies with people. It’s time to start listening to what employees want, both in their working lives and when it comes to what their workplace can offer them, says Jitesh Patel, CEO of Peldon Rose
Our new Powered by People report has done just that, combining research from both the C-suite and wider workforce. The insight uncovered is of incredible value for business leaders who are truly invested in making their companies great places to work, and it’s particularly vital for companies struggling with recruitment. The main takeaway? You have to listen to, and understand, what people want and need in their working lives.
The physical embodiment of understanding your people lies within the workspace. Not only is an office the hub of a company, it’s also a reflection of your culture and a space that enables it to thrive. Over the last 18 months, most of us had this taken away with months of working from home.
From speaking to the wider C-suite, it’s no surprise that this is mirrored by a 55% drop in employee engagement. This shows that we need to get people back together to ensure they are productive, happy and energised about their work.
Understanding your employees
In order to have a workspace that your employees truly value, you have to talk to them about its design and how it’s created.
Our workforce research shows that 70% of employees feel their employers need to do more to improve office space to entice them back to work, and over half (55%) believe that the quality of a workplace would influence their job choice.
So, while hybrid working is becoming the norm post-pandemic, the office still has a crucial part to play in business performance, people retention and even talent acquisition.
Bringing people back together
The findings also show what elements of office working people have missed the most, and unsurprisingly, socialising with colleagues came out on top.
Strong friendships and relationships between colleagues help to nurture a positive workplace culture, and if office spaces are designed with this in mind, it can really help foster collaboration. Long gone are the days of isolated cubicle working.
Break-out rooms, coffee and tea points, and dedicated areas where employees can relax and switch off are becoming increasingly popular, and are something that the workforce now expects. There is a greater focus on employee wellbeing, and it’s important that our workspaces reflect this.
Looking to the future
The office shouldn’t simply be a place to work, it needs to be an exciting, collaborative space. Somewhere that is vibrant, empowering and embodies what your business and people stand for. It needs to be a destination for employees, somewhere that entices prospective recruits and supports existing talent.
It’s vital that business leaders recognise the power of their people. With the ‘Great Resignation’, all eyes are on recruitment and retention, and the onus now is on these leaders to create spaces which embody what their organisation stands for.
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