What role does workspace design play in culture creation and employee engagement you may ask? A Global study found that a strong correlation exists between high workplace satisfaction and high employee engagement, with employees who have greater control over their physical workplace – including access to private spaces – also reporting the highest engagement levels. The findings prove that employers could be missing a trick when it comes to planning their employee engagement strategies.
This is because, consistently, the most engaged workers were those who had more control over their work experience, including the ability to concentrate easily and work in teams without disruption. Workers who can choose where they want to work in the office, based on the task at hand are much more engaged in the work they do.
Employee well-being and engagement feature on the top of our list of priorities at Hands-on Human Resources alongside compliance. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic organizations were considering workspace restructuring and re-designing for various reasons such as business acquisitions, updating furnishings, and ensuring their workplaces are compliant with statutory labour laws.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic most organizations, even those with traditional workplace cultures have directed employees to work remotely in an effort to keep employees healthy and slow the spread of the virus and some have implemented permanent WFH (working from home) policies and shaping productive and engaging workplace cultures.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these might have been some scenarios you were faced with to consider a change or improvement to your workspace layout and or office design:
- Re-structuring your organization after a merger or acquisition leaves you to get your head around HOW and WHERE your new employees are going to be allocated working space and at the same time ensure they are highly engaged;
- The current layout of workspaces is impractical and not proving the most productive space;
- Your boardroom is looking a little drab;
- Your reception is stuck in the ’80s;
- Strategizing what you can do to create space for mindfulness;
- Need to accommodate people with disabilities in your workplace;
- Need to address the ergonomic risks that may impair overall system performance and well-being in your workplace, and ensure your practices are aligned with the Ergonomics Regulations, 2019 published in the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
- You don’t have a private space where breastfeeding Moms can take their breastfeeding breaks to express breast milk, in compliance with the Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy and after the Birth of a Child (which forms part of the Codes of the BCEA).
Practical, and aesthetically pleasing workspaces do have a positive impact on productivity levels, and employee engagement, and if you incorporate the health and safety compliance aspects surrounding workplace ergonomics you can’t go wrong.
It is impossible to predict the long-term implications that COVID has brought to the world of work, one outcome is that leaders will appreciate the value of allowing freedom of choice as to where employees operate from and adopt WFH on a permanent basis combined with some face-to-face interaction at a collaborative space to touch base with the team and fulfill our human need for socializing.
We think it’s a win-win scenario.
6 Tips for creating a WFH space adapted by Real Simple:
- Pick the right spot in the home
- Set up good lighting
- Make it as ergonomically friendly as possible – Desk stands are great to help lead a healthy work lifestyle.
- Working from the bed or couch is a non-negotiable!
- Connect with a virtual background if your physical one is too distracting during virtual meetings
- Decorate your space with things that light you up and calm you, we have added an aromatherapy diffuser, and plants to our desk space. In between Zoom calls, Spotify plays soft calming vibes keeping us focused.
What are your thoughts?
We would love to learn more about your employee engagement strategies, send us a mail.