It’s Not Me, It’s You — Breaking Up With that Deadbeat Office
“A bad workman blames his tools.” “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” “Wherever you go, there you are.” Sure, these are useful platitudes for self flagellation but can we just be real for a minute? Sometimes your tools suck, your lawn is on the browner end of the spectrum, and you really would be better off somewhere else. Case in point: your office.
Yes, we’re here to tell you that if you’re having an unproductive quarter, it might not be your fault! But before you run to management waving a print-out of this missive, let’s explore why (just in case it is your fault).
The office is more than just a place you work
Not to be depressing, but the average person spends a third of their life at their job. Woof. So it bears repeating — the office is more than just a place you work. In spite of this fact, for most companies, headcount and density is about as far as they’ll go when it comes to space planning. And while employee productivity and happiness may actually be important to company leadership, rarely is that importance reflected in the office space itself.
Solution: Set your team up for success with conscientious decision-making that factors their needs into space personalization — make the office a home away from home.
Much like a freshly laundered pair of 100% cotton jeans after the holidays, an office is just plain uncomfortable when it’s a tight fit. Yes, you can shimmy in and make it work but at some point, the work product is going to suffer — whether from noise, rampant hot-desking, shortage of conference spaces, complete and utter chaos, etc. On the flipside, an office space that’s too big means wasted resources across the board, including all that capital that could be spent on your people and your product.
Solution: Plan a layout that can flex and be reconfigured with minimal disruption to accommodate expansion and reduction in headcount — think modular furniture and moveable conference rooms.
From marketing to expansion, companies have strategies for everything, but (you may notice a theme developing here) very few companies have a strategy for how their workplace actually functions. Since bosses love numbers, here’s a cold hard fact: office design that separates workers by function without looking at productivity and work quality can cost a business up to 15% in organizational performance.
Solution: Plan and execute a robust workplace strategy to create an experience in your space where your team is productive, connected, engaged and excited to come to work.
Location, location, location
Back to that greener grass for a moment. Where you are matters, especially for fledgling companies. Whether it’s bringing in top talent or courting serious investors, your office location is one of the main drivers for attracting the kind of people you want to work with. It’s also important for keeping them there, so you probably don’t want to ask your A-team to commute to Brockway, Ogdenville, or North Haverbrook.
Solution: Whether it’s testing expansion to a new market or enjoying the advantages of the cluster effect, companies of all sizes have found that flexible office space is the best way to secure the benefits of a prime location without the financial obligations or commitment of a standard office lease.
The moral of the story is that if you’ve fallen out of love with work, it could be that your workplace is just not meeting your physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. You deserve better — the best, even! And we are here for you.