A quick summary:
- The impact of COVID-19 on the workspace
- How to build a workspace fit for the future
- Using Heka to revolutionise employee wellbeing
Contrary to popular belief, workspaces can be both fun and interactive, yet functional and purpose-driven. A lot has been said about the working environments of the future, and rightly so. Times are changing, and the world of work has been turned upside down in recent years.
To join in on the discussion, we’re asking the question “has remote work killed off the ‘work-as-lifestyle’ office environment?” We’re also exploring if there’s any value in meditation rooms, sleeping pods, on-site fitness facilities, and other characteristics of a ‘work-as-lifestyle’ setup?
The impact of COVID-19 on the workspace
The workplace as we know it today shares little similarity to that of pre-covid times. The biggest difference being 84% of those who began working from home during the pandemic, continue to do so in some shape or form in 2022.
With less face-to-face work happening in the office, many workspaces were made redundant, while others required a rejig. This, of course, depended on the nature of a business, e.g number of employees, or the capacity to support everyone from home.
With the rise of employee wellbeing, organisations were made to acknowledge the influence of positive working environments and how they influence behaviours, such as productivity and performance.
It was essential that employees built a space where people would genuinely like to work, especially now employees had the power to choose where they’d like to work, rather than have to work.
Many businesses did this well, and many not so much. The question on the minds of everyone from architects to global leaders is this…
“Is it time to rethink the office in a remote-first world?”
How to build a workplace fit for the future of business
Although workspaces must be built to support high performance and productivity, it doesn’t mean they must do away with all the characteristics of a ‘work-as-lifestyle’ design. After all, there’s a reason so many of the world’s leading businesses offer these incentives.
Take Google for example. One of the leading companies in the technology industry, Google has always strived for workspaces that mirror its vision and values. Whether it’s sleeping pods or colourful slides, Google continues to think outside the box in terms of its product and services and its work environment.
It’s worth remembering that not all things have to have tangible and immediate results; Google’s employees continue to thrive in the environment the company has built. Although it isn’t their colourful slides that generate the results, it does contribute to the employee experience and most likely creates healthier and happier teams.
The world around us has an impact on our ability to produce great work and collaborate effectively. To strip the workspace of everything but functionality just isn’t the answer.
Instead, employers should invest in quiet spaces, on-site meditation, fitness facilities and more. It’s no secret that our health and wellbeing must come before our career, and in doing so, we can enhance our career at a greater pace.
What do your employees want?
It makes complete sense to support your employees depending on their individual needs. For too long, employers have neglected the ideas, thoughts and feelings of their team, instead offering little value to the employee experience.
It’s time to strengthen communication and act as a leader. We recommend setting up regular catchups with your employees to find out exactly what is it you can do to create the workspace they want. We’ve included some questions below for you to work with.
- Does the workspace currently support or encourage health and wellbeing?
- If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do differently to the workspace?
- What are the negatives about working in the office for you personally?
- How can management better support you in the office?
- Would you rearrange the layout of the office altogether?
- Does the office lack any essential equipment you need to carry out your job?
By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of the kind of alterations necessary to improve the workspace. It’s wasteful to assume employees want one thing over another.
People are different, and so too are their needs. What may help one employee focus, may hinder another’s productivity. Take music for example, so of us can work well with background noise, and others despise it. Find out what it is your team want, and deliver.
Are you achieving a nice balance of functionality and fun?
Although we advocate for putting the ‘fun’ into the workplace, it is important to find the perfect balance between fun and functionality. Yes, it’s important employees are comfortable and enjoy working in the environment, but it’s equally so that they are able to thrive.
Take a moment to think about your current office, does it help employees perform at their best? Do they have access to the tools and resources needed? Finally, does it restrict collaboration or communication throughout the space?
Unfortunately, some offices are built to cage people into their own boxes. And if there’s one thing we know it’s that we can only achieve so much alone. It’s when employees come together they are able to achieve much more.
Consider reviewing recent performance with other leaders in your business. Find out if your business could be feeling the consequences of a lack of communication and collaboration. Ensure you’re creating a positive environment, but one that supports high performance and productivity.
Make your business is moving with the times
As we’ve discussed earlier on, the workplace is constantly evolving. It’s important leaders recognise this and act on what is best practice, currently. The reason most businesses opted for hybrid and remote work because it became so highly in-demand from employees.
Flexible working has disrupted the recruitment landscape, being one of the major reasons why people began leaving their job in the aftermath of COVID-19. The Great Resignation proves that flexible working isn’t a nicety, but a necessity.
Using Heka to revolutionise your workplace
In addition to flexible working, employees are looking for better health and wellbeing. Without appropriate support, some businesses are losing their best talent. It’s time for employers to step up their health and wellbeing strategy with Heka.
Heka offers employees thousands of wellbeing experiences, products and services to choose from. Whether it’s fitness classes, gym memberships, online therapy or fertility treatment, there is something for every member of any team.
Find out more by booking a demo with our wellbeing experts today!