Designing a welcoming work area encourages innovative thinking, boosts morale, increases retention rates, and can have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Human Resources departments tasked with the job should pay attention to the following four elements:
If possible, there should be enough space for teams of up to eight people to meet regularly for collaborative work. The space needs to be cozy enough to be inviting and located close enough to each employee’s individual workspace to be convenient.
The space should be designed in such a way that it inspires those who occupy it. A view facing outdoors and soft, natural lighting are two good places to start. It’s important that any connectivity issues are worked out in advance to keep frustrations to a minimum.
Flexible space is a must in today’s mobile workforce. This may include a roving whiteboard, walls and furniture that are easy to move, and the ability for people using the space to instantly configure it to meet their own needs.
While individuality is important, the space should also reflect the vision and brand of the company. Displaying past projects or letters of commendation from customers help people feel connected to the process and to the end result.
Promoting a Team Approach
Whether they are naturally introverted or simply don’t enjoy the collaborative process, not every employee will embrace these changes. However, almost every industry stands to benefit by changing the focus from me to we. The easiest way to accomplish this is by providing co-workers the ability to communicate no matter where they are. Even those who work from home should feel like part of the team through the use of technology. People may need encouragement to work as part of a collaborative team, but in time they should come to appreciate the richness it brings to their own professional experience.
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