Creating a Space that Makes Employees Want to Commute Into the Office

Team working in modern office

Working remotely became quite popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and, for many industries, it's a method that’s here to stay. But not everything can be done from a remote location, and not every worker wants to be at home 24/7. Many employees say they value having a choice: being able to stay home and work remotely on days when they need to focus and being able to come into the office on days when collaboration with other teams is needed.

With this in mind, many organizations — around 74% — have switched to a hybrid work model that does give their employees a say in the matter. Combine this statistic with a recent finding from the University of Minnesota which says, "environment can create or reduce stress that, in turn, impacts our bodies in multiple ways" and it’s easy to see why employee well-being is a priority as organizations attempt to romance workers back into the office.

Let's face it, if the work environment isn't inviting, when given the chance to work remotely or work from the office, many employees are going to choose to stay home. That means it's time to look around to determine what can be done to improve the workplace. It's time to create an office that inspires, expresses company culture, and makes employees want to return to the office.

Here's how this can be done with space utilization data from 4SITE by CORT.

Matching the Space Design to the Workflows of Teams

When redesigning an office space, there are many things to consider. The needs of employees should always be first. This not only builds trust within the workforce but also supports productivity in a positive way. That means:

  • Considering which tasks are performed in which areas and how the design impacts them
  • Considering the needs of both individual employees and teams of employees
  • Considering the workflow of each department
  • Considering how much collaboration and quiet space staff needs

A great place to start is to talk with employees. Ask them what they like and don't like and what can be changed to make it better. But to get a full, unbiased picture, consider implementing a transparent and simple solution like sensor technology. By placing these sensors around an office space, insights can be gathered on how an office space is being occupied in real time and for how long.

Combine this data with employee feedback, and it’s easier to narrow down which spaces need to be reconfigured to improve the employee experience and ensure they have what they need to complete their daily tasks.

Provide Flexible Seating and Mobility Options

Of course, the office space is not one-size-fits-all. What works for an employee on one day may not work for them the next. For example, one employee may be meeting with clients all day and needs a private office or conference room where they won't be distracted. Another may work best when they can collaborate with their team in an open environment but need to work from a quieter space for more focused work.

For this reason, it's important to create a workspace that is flexible and mobile. Employees need to be able to do their work from the location that suits them and the task at hand. There are many ways to do this, from ensuring Wi-Fi is available throughout the building to adding a variety of furnished areas for workers to choose from.

4SITE sensor technology and data, long with CORT's Furniture-as-a-Service™ (FaaS) model can also help with this. Together, we help organizations to become one that is Permanently Flexible™ because it allows them to experiment, measure, modify, and repeat within their workplace as their needs continuously evolve.

Design Spaces for Collaboration and Teamwork

During a webinar, Microsoft Marketing Director, Desmond Dickerson shared the number one reason why people want to return to office and it's to collaborate and connect with others. In a 2022 study, Microsoft also reported that "Connecting with colleagues is a key motivation for working in person. 84% of employees would be motivated by the promise of socializing with coworkers while 85% would be motivated by rebuilding team bonds." Employees want to meet with their colleagues, whether it's to work on a big project or for connection.

Although the two often go hand-in-hand, designing spaces that promote collaboration and teamwork is just as important as creating a workspace that is flexible and mobile. Employees will gather in flexible spaces or where they can easily reconfigure the furniture layout on their own to create such a space.

This is yet another reason to implement CORT's FaaS. You can choose pieces that will promote teamwork and collaboration, and if what you choose doesn't work out, you can return it and try something else.

Incorporate Biophilic Design Elements

When you think of workspace design, desks, chairs, cubicles, and offices probably come to mind. But there is so much more to it than that. Employees do not want to come work in a stark workspace that could be anywhere. They want a space that is personalized, that fits the company culture, and that fosters their connection to the world. One way to do that is by introducing biophilic design elements.

According to HMC Architects, "Humans are innately connected to nature, so it makes sense that employees perform better when working in spaces that feature views or even qualities of the outdoors." Biophilic design is all about adding natural elements to an indoor space. Rather than straight lines, natural elements mimic the world outside the office and promote an overall sense of comfort.

This might mean adding plants and greenery to your space, along with a mixture of accessories that soften up your workplace, like throws, pillows, mirrors, rugs, and lighting. When you choose to work with CORT's FaaS program, you can rent items like these and more to enhance your environment and make it more inviting.

Improve Lighting Throughout the Office Space

According to the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety, "People receive about 85% of their information through their sense of sight. Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches; it can prevent workplace incidents by increasing the visibility of moving machinery and other safety hazards." The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also reports that bad lighting in a building can impact productivity. When thinking of how this relates to office design, lighting may not seem important, but it can be a huge factor when it comes to creating a comfortable space.

You may even discover when you implement your 4SITE sensor tech that there are areas of the office that aren't used frequently. Upon inspection, you are likely to find that the lighting there is bad. Again, this is where our FaaS plan can help. We offer numerous lighting options that you can incorporate into practically any space.

Ready To Design Your Space to Delight Your Employees?

By utilizing 4SITE sensor technology and CORT's FaaS, you can create a space in which employees want to come to work. You'll do this by gathering data, making unbiased decisions, and choosing furniture and accessory options that meet your needs for a well-lit space that matches your workflow, provides flexibility, fosters collaborations, and connects your employees to the outside world. Call us today to learn more or set up a demo.