September 10th, 2021


New Rules for Creating Workplace Happiness

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation”. It’s one of the biggest concerns employers are facing at the moment: Some of their best employees are quitting in droves.

For employees, the pandemic sparked a change in how they think about work-life balance and employee burnout prompted many to consider a change in careers. Some wanted to find jobs more in line with their passions and interests. Others may have been looking for more flexibility, better benefits, or a better opportunity.

With turnover rates on the rise, companies need to let go of traditional beliefs about employee expectations and work-life balance.

Here’s how to evolve your workplace experience strategy to embrace the new realities of hiring and retaining high-performing workers.

Reposition the corporate office

Once two distinct areas of an employee’s life, home and work have collided thanks to the pandemic. Suffice it to say, the lines between being at work and being at home have gotten extremely blurry and, at times, became one and the same.

On one hand, the pandemic rocked long-held assumptions about productivity and remote work. But as we now know, there is also some downside to working from home full time.

Today, offices are becoming smarter and more interactive. As your workplace experience strategy continues to evolve, success will depend on data-driven decisions to find the right solutions for your workforce.

Emphasize work-life balance

Now, it’s all too easy for an employee to justify sending a few emails during dinner considering the fact that their desk is within just steps from where they’re eating.

And since there is really no need to reach a stopping point and log off before heading home for the night, it’s becoming common for people to staying logged in long past their typical working hours.

For those employees who have struggled to juggle living and working responsibilities during the pandemic, being able to return to in-person meetings and spend time in a collaborative environment may offer a huge sense of relief.

Encourage your workforce to be offline outside of their scheduled working hours to reduce burnout. One way to do this is by empowering them to make the most out of their time in the workplace, so they don’t feel pressure to work late or get bogged down with time-consuming, manual tasks.

By providing employees with tools designed to make their workday the best it can be, the workplace becomes a place human-focused experiences drive business success.

With space booking software, for instance, you can make it simple for employees to plan for, manage, and enjoy the time they spend working from the office.

That’s because it lets them explore which spaces are available, see what amenities are included, quickly book their preferred space, and then easily navigate to its location.

Stir up excitement and inspire connection

Reposition the workplace as an accessible option within a larger selection of environments employees can choose to work from. Redefine the purpose of the office as a space designed to make it easier for people to connect with the culture of the company.

Create an atmosphere that’s engaging and offers many opportunities for employees to collaborate with their colleagues, as well as meet with any current and potential customers in person.

To build trust with employees, you need to know how to measure the workplace experience and use that information to optimize the  workplace based on utilization patterns.

You need to identify what your workforce needs so you can ensure your workplace is equipped with the right resources to support your organization’s goals.

That means choosing the technology, furniture, and supplies that are going to help make the in-office experience as productive, convenient, and enjoyable as possible.

Accommodate flexibility in the workplace

Expand the built and unbuilt environment. Indoor spaces may need to be redesigned for new seating arrangements, or to allow you to optimize your available real estate to maximize utilization rates.

Support flexible working arrangements and rethink the types of spaces your workforce wants to use when they come into the office. Hybrid meetings and remote coworkers are an undeniable reality, and that means technology to support virtual and hybrid meetings is a requirement for modern enterprises.

When it comes to re-entry plans, don’t forget to factor in how your employees feel about the return to the office. While they are looking forward to a hybrid work model, some people might be unsure about having to share desks.

There’s a reason people hate hot-desking — but by understanding their concerns, you can respond by modernizing your flexible seating strategy and having a communication plan to help your workforce get accustomed to your new seating arrangement.

Enhance technology-enabled spaces

Bridge the gaps between digital and physical aspects of working. Tech-enabled spaces keep employees and visitors engaged with their purpose, because they don’t have to waste time signing in or wandering around to find people, offices, or conference rooms.

Digital tools and mobile apps that integrate with your existing workplace systems and apps help everything run so seamlessly, the workday feels effortless — and it should. It’s 2021, the capabilities made possible by the growth in Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices has created a new standard. And now more than ever, it’s time for the workplace to leverage the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across the entire organization.

Champion employee wellness and well-being initiatives

Ensure space reflects employee’s needs

Navigating the way forward will be easier with a combination of workplace analytics and employee input. That way you can make decisions using actionable insights from your data while you focus on the single most important factor in workplace experience strategy: Your employees.

Between capacity limits, safe distancing requirements, and your own team’s comfort levels, there’s many factors that should dictate how much space is needed in your workplace — and how it should be configured.

You may need to add more private spaces if you have many sensitive or formal conversations taking place. If large conference rooms are frequently being booked for one-on-ones or small meetings, your office might need to accommodate this by increasing the number of small meeting spaces that require extra focus and concentration.

More value lies in your ability to inform your workplace experience strategy to be reflective of what employees need when they’re in the office. 

Make well-being a priority, not an afterthought

Nobody considers necessities like air, water, shelter, and safety as perks of the job, right? Well, we shouldn’t think of employee wellness and well-being as perks of the job, either. There’s an obvious reason for that: Well-being is a holistic sense of being content, fulfilled, and balanced.

Companies that incorporate workforce well-being and psychological safety into their workplace experience strategy will make a lasting impact on their employees’ quality of life. Not only can it be helpful for improving productivity —although, that’s also true — satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their roles.

Workplace experience strategy for the pandemic era

The past year has taken a toll on well-being, with employees and candidates reporting more stress, anxiety, depression, and higher rates of burnout. In a survey of 1,099 employees conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that more than 40% of employees report feeling hopeless, burned out, or exhausted following COVID-19.

The increases in these and other mental health challenges have prompted people to look for more meaningful experiences as they re-evaluate what’s most important to them.

With this in mind, attracting and retaining high-performers means investing in well-being as part of your workplace experience strategy and becoming a true champion of employee wellness.

Learn how to recognize employee burnout and find out what you can do about it in the New Rules for Creating Workplace Happiness e-book.

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Teem by iOFFICE provides enterprises with space scheduling and management, workplace analytics, building, and campus wayfinding, and visitor management to help cultivate workplaces that fuel productivity, efficiency, and creativity.


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