Using Workspace Design to Attract and Retain Talent

Jun 30, 2018 3:25:35 PM / by Albert Cappello

It’s a buyer’s market. Not only when it comes to real estate, but also when it comes to employment. Right now there are not enough homes on the market for interested homebuyers to purchase and the same thing could be said for employees – there are more job openings to fill than ever before and less talent to choose from.

Companies both large and small are approaching talent acquisition in a variety of new and innovative ways that range from beefing up company-provided benefits to improving corporate culture through things like offering 4-day work weeks and allowing dogs in the office.


How Employees View Their Workspace


workspace designOne important strategy to consider when trying to attract and retain talent in today’s unique job market is through improved workspace design.

According to a survey conducted by Mindspace and the research firm One Poll, “A fifth (21%) of millennials admit to rejecting a potential employer because of the poor look of their workspace.”  

But the desire for a more aesthetically pleasing workspace design doesn’t stem solely from younger workers. In fact, according to another study conducted by Hassle Studios, workspaces can influence job seekers more than even the salary you offer them. 

Employees truly view their work environment as important criteria when evaluating which job offer to accept or whether to remain with their current company.

To start evaluating how you can improve your workspace design to more effectively attract and retain the best talent, consider the following criteria:


Foster Flexibility

Employees need options when it comes to how they work. Offering places for employees to do different kinds of work is essential to attracting and retaining talent. People need to be able to choose which space is most appropriate for them and the type of work they are doing, because the one-cubicle-fits all approach has never really worked.

For example, for collaboration or innovation sessions there might be rooms with lounge seating, mobile whiteboards and even indoor/outdoor spaces that can stimulate creativity and ideation. When you need to concentrate on heads-down work there might be quiet meeting rooms, private lab areas or enclaves for individual work.

Many companies are even providing cafe environments or walking tracks in their facilities so that employees can think and interact differently in ways that best support the work they are trying to do.


Embrace Ergonomics

portrait of young businessman in casual clothes at modern  startup business office space,  working on laptop  computerNot only is flexibility in workspace design worth considering to attract and retain employees, but flexibility in furniture configurations are key as well.

Many companies now provide sit-to-stand desks, keyboard trays, adjustable monitor arms and even mobile surfaces meant to improve posture and overall health, as well as give different employees adjustable and flexible furniture that meet their individual needs.


Update Equipment and Furniture

In order to provide employees with flexibility and ergonomically appropriate workspaces, you need to consider updating furniture and equipment. Not only do new lab stations, workbenches and seating in your spaces offer fresh aesthetics, they are designed with the latest and greatest ergonomic considerations, technology interfaces and flexible configurations in mind.

Used furniture or older equipment will not have these enhancements and, let’s be honest, no one wants to be stuck working in a space that looks like your Dentist’s office did in 1992.


Incorporate Technology Interfaces

workspace designMost modern furniture offerings are designed to interface with modern technology. This could mean they are equipped with built-in chassis for electrical, data or mechanicals (think plumbing or gas lines in lab environment). It could also mean they come with built-in device chargers, and even offer space for specific types of monitors or testing equipment.

Consider conference or collaboration areas that allow users to plug and play easily with their existing technologies or even to use their mobile devices to present wirelessly up onto a screen. These technology enhancements not only appeal to employees used to sitting at home streaming TV on their mobile devices while wirelessly charging their phones, but it offers an opportunity for more frequent and spontaneous collaboration among users.


Don’t let your workspace hold you back

CEO Dan Rodriguez said in a Forbes article, “In a job market where two-thirds of business owners are struggling to hire, and where the U.S. will need more than 3 million additional workers over the next 10 years, you can’t afford to miss out on exceptional hires.”  

Improving your workspace design is an easy and effective way to get a leg up in today’s talent acquisition “buyer’s market.”


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Albert Cappello

Written by Albert Cappello

Albert Cappello is the CEO of Workstation Industries, Inc. WSI is a manufacturer of Industrial, Technical and Laboratory Furniture based in Southern California.

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