Some might consider ‘office culture’ as just another buzz phrase, thrown around by corporations trying to give themselves a human touch. But establishing a positive office culture is actually a crucial part of successful organisations.
Gone are the days of ping-pong and draught beer… a recent article by Fast Company lists some of the most overrated office perks and emphasises the point that employers need to prioritise the organisational culture and the nature of the work that they are doing above the novelties they adorn the office with.
Culture, tasks & light: the perks that really matter
According to a new study, there’s a much more fundamental perk employees rate above all else: light.
The study, entitled ‘The Employee Experience,’ was conducted by HR advisory firm Future Workplace and polled 1,614 North American employees. Though the survey is from across the pond, the results certainly have implications for companies here in the UK.
The study’s main finding was that access to natural light, coupled with views of the outdoors, is the most important attribute of the office environment, trumping things like cafés, fitness classes and on-site childcare.
Reporting on the study, the Harvard Business Review explains how the lack of natural light and outdoor views negatively impacts the employee experience. More than one-third of the study’s respondents feel they don’t get enough natural light in the office.
When it comes to the impact of having a lack of natural light and windows, 47% admitted to feeling tired or very tired during the day, while 42% said they felt gloomy.
This desire for daylight and outdoor views may stem from our increased use of mobile devices, the article notes. In the study, 73% of respondents agreed that the more they use their devices, the more they crave a visual break, which might include going for a walk or simply enjoying an outdoor view – uninterrupted.
Collaboration space and the office of the future
As flexible working becomes more popular with staff and employers alike, the requirements of offices and collaborative spaces is becoming evermore important. Spaces need to do more than ever before; guaranteeing connectivity, privacy, space for collaborative working and making effective use of existing floorspace to deliver maximum value for organisations and their teams.
Whilst the pros and cons of the open plan office is a controversial subject for many, experts predict that as the adoption of agile working becomes mainstream, collaboration space will be key to the future of the office.
Peter Bronsnick, Executive Vice President of SJP Properties recently commented “People are discovering they need more private meeting space than they realized, and there’s literally a fight for huddle or breakout space… This is a problem that’s happening internationally, not just locally.”
Research by CBRE confirms this and notes that employees value the physical aspects of their work environment that support their wellbeing and convenience, over and above on-site amenities.
In order to maximise the growth potential of your business it is becoming vital to understand how best to support your staff through your workplace design. Our consultancy services and design capability can support you on your journey towards improving employee engagement and productivity through deep insight and inspiring design.