Don’t Scare Employees Away from Your Workplace!

Don’t Scare Employees Away from Your Workplace

As spooky season is upon us, you might be thinking of all the Halloween decorations you can put on display that won’t creep out your patrons and employees. But before putting those skeletons and ghost banners on display, your workspace could already be scaring people away—whether that’s potential customers, vendors or talent.

In Indiana, the workforce is facing an inflection point regarding its people, economy and the future. Since the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and “the Great Resignation,” the state is currently battling workforce shortages and low talent retention rates. As an employer, it’s important to provide employees with a workplace environment and culture in which they can feel comfortable, cared for and psychologically safe.

It’s time to stop scaring employees away from the workplace. Here are our tips for keeping your office inviting and spook-free.

Don’t Assume, Just Ask!

The best way to keep your employees around and engaged is to find out how they work best. The simplest way to achieve this is by sending out a workplace survey to let your staff be heard!

In particular, our proprietary Workplace Productivity Analysis® offers custom-designed questions to pinpoint the right workspace changes that suit your team. When you work with Relocation Strategies, we’ll facilitate a series of one-on-one meetings with department heads and stakeholders to understand budgetary and logistical concerns prior to making changes. Then, our consultants and designers pair survey results, stakeholder information and extensive industry knowledge to make recommendations that will best fit your office’s needs.

Ditch the Rigid Work Schedules

Current trends are showing a dramatic shift away from a traditional 9-5 work week where everyone comes to the office every day. In part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever prefer flexibility when it comes to scheduling. We recommend refreshing your office format by offering employees hybrid schedules. With a hybrid schedule, you can allow them to work from home a few days of the week, but still give them useful office space when they decide to stop in. Your team will appreciate the flexibility and your trust to get the work done elsewhere.

Move Away from Open Concept Office Spaces

Did you know that employees and clients make 11 impressions about the office space—positive or negative—within seven seconds of entering it? That’s why proper space planning is essential to the retention of your employees and the overall performance of your business. Further, making a positive first impression will stick in an applicant or new employee’s mind and promote longevity at your company.

In the past few years, open-concept offices have become the norm. However, studies are now showing that these spaces are probably scaring off more employees than they retain. The reasoning behind the open concept is to promote collaboration, but surveys indicate the opposite. Many people would rather send an email than have a conversation where everyone can listen in. The lack of privacy can be discouraging to some, increasing rates of anxiety and stress among the staff.

Employees who work in open-concept spaces tend to report more job dissatisfaction and experience a drop in productivity. What’s more, open-concept offices typically don’t make the most of every square inch of space. Instead of investing in a surplus of communal areas, make a “wow” first impression with reservable offices and or cubes, meeting rooms and fully-stocked break areas. People enjoy having multiple options to choose from and accommodating their different needs will help them feel understood and valued.

Designate Space for Collaboration

Sitting in a room by yourself all day is nothing short of scary! The truth is, us humans thrive when we have a strong sense of community. Expecting your employees to work alone day in and day out can be a major turn-off for prospective job applicants, not to mention this can harm your company culture. Instead of locking everyone away in separate office spaces, consider adding large collaboration spaces in addition to private and reserved offices. Lounge areas or group desks can make a big difference when it comes to the spread of ideas and promoting a positive workplace culture.

Excessive Noise Is a No-No

Just as your employees need space to collaborate, they also need space to focus and go heads-down. Some jobs mean dealing with lots of noise throughout the day. But while construction workers and retail professionals can expect to need earplugs from time to time, most office staff expect a quiet environment. That’s why too much noise is a huge factor that scares off talented team members.

If employees need to join a private call, they should have a place to go to maintain their confidentiality. In addition to private spaces to take calls and hop on Zoom, try adding sound masking to your work areas or even “Zoom rooms.” This feature is commonly missing from office spaces. Providing a quiet, productive environment with designated collaborative zones makes a huge difference to workplace success!

Take the Fear Out of Workspace Planning

Now that you know what’s scaring off new talent (and that it probably isn’t your newest Halloween decorations), it’s time to roll out a plan of action! The team at Relocation Strategies is here to help you reimagine your workplace into a peaceful environment, not one that will have people running for the hills. Contact us for tips on space planning, design, furniture management and so much more.

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