What do employees really want from their workspace?

March 3, 2020

Most of us, at least once in our lifetime, have been a part of some employee engagement activity at our workplace. Willingly or unwillingly, we may have participated in them. It could be a fun game, an outdoor session, some team-building activities or ice-breaking sessions. These activities tend to enhance the feeling of belongingness and break the otherwise existing communication barriers between people of the organisation.

The question here is, when we start working with an organisation, are employee engagement activities something we really look for? Do we come with a mindset that we certainly want the organisation to conduct the best of such activities? It’s a big NO.

Also, a Harvard study suggests that most of the employee engagement programs and wellness activities yield not-so-impressive results. Nearly 80% of the top American organisations who have invested the most in employee activities are not getting their desired benefits.

So what do employees actually expect from their organisation?

Apart from the big fat paycheck, of course!

Every company is unique in its own way and so are the employees working there. There is no “one size fits all” strategy for understanding what employees actually want from the place they work at. Especially the millennials are very open and assertive about their needs and seek workspaces that are able to fulfill their aspirations.

A closer observation of modern employees in any organisation tells us that their needs are very basic and minimal. This is backed by research conducted by Clutch which gives the complete picture of what makes employees excited to come to their workspace every single day. More than 500 employees from various companies were studied closely to understand what they want and how their workspace provides them with the desired value.

Analyzing the results from studies by Harvard and Clutch, we have compiled a list of top things  which employees honestly seek from their workspace:

Vibrant Culture

It takes a lot of time and effort to foster a vivid and happy culture in any workplace. But it has tremendous benefits too. Employees feel happy as a part of the big organisational family which boosts their productivity as well.

As humans are a social species, we have always been fond of being a part of the bigger community which is culturally rich. So even at work, we look for an enhanced experience and workspace culture is one of the key ingredients which fuels our happiness and social needs.

Flexible Spaces

Studies suggest that employees prefer to have a mix of spaces at their offices. They do not want to be stuck in just one seat for the entire day of work. They want a variety of spaces adding to more flexibility such as relaxing rooms, spacious conference halls, big cafeterias, telephone booths and even silent rooms.

These spaces totally focus on solving different purposes and are way better than just one place which has all the things going on together.

You wouldn’t want your colleague to be relaxing right where you are in the middle of intense research or another person negotiating a deal over the phone just beside you. It would be total chaos! For this, people want designated spaces so that there is more flexibility to work and even the workspace is utilized better.

Natural Lighting

Scientific studies say that people who work in a naturally lit environment are reported to have a 50% drop in straining of eyes, headache or drowsiness. Also, productivity gets enhanced by nearly 30%. Good lighting reduces fatigue and energises people to work better. Thus natural lighting should be considered for the increased well-being of employees at work.

Good Acoustics

Noise can prove to be a big distraction while you are working. You do not want to overhear conversations with other people when they are in the middle of intense discussions.

Also, you would want to keep your business talks private so that sensitive information might not be disclosed to others. For all these reasons, the workspace needs to have good acoustics in the conference rooms, telephone booths and in the open space as well.

More so, modern organisations are focusing on enhanced acoustic systems which provide a soothing and tranquil environment when you are working. The top custom workspace providers design offices with personalized requirements of the organisations and their employees. For example, in workspaces with a natural theme, the acoustics focus on sounds of gushing water, ambient music or chirping birds which bring you closer to nature even when you are working.

Ergonomic Comfort

Every small thing at our workspace, such as the position of the screen, the height and cushion of the chair, the telephones we use, etc. adds up to our working conditions. It affects our posture, overall health and well-being in the long run of work.

Ergonomics aims at reducing any kind of discomfort that we may face while working. Employee comfort and well-being become the prime focus at ergonomically designed workspaces. People seek offices that pay special attention to these small details and provide them with a favourable work environment.

Holistic Wellness

Employees in the organisation want not only their physical wellness to be taken care of but also their emotional and environmental wellbeing. They seek a well-balanced work environment that takes complete care of all their needs such as healthy food, hygiene and happiness-induced surroundings. People work best when their office space makes the most impact.

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