Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting cushmanwakefield.com to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}
Global Portfolio Administration Global Portfolio Administration

How to create maximum workplace experience? People.

11/1/2022

Q. Carol, how would you define maximum workplace experience?

 

I would say maximum workplace experience is best demonstrated when employees feel that their company cares for them – when they feel proud to be working for a company that they believe allows them to grow, to learn, and to thrive.

Research shows that yes, flexibility and choice are key priorities for employees, but so is being treated well. As companies, we need to care for our people by enabling and empowering them, whether that is through the workplace setting, through technology, through processes or through culture – or through all of these.

Q. We have seen employers offer everything from food and beverage options, to in-house yoga, to ping pong tables to elevate the employee experience. What works and what doesn’t?

 

The truth is that it depends on the organisation and the people in it – again, it is about making people the focus of everything you do. A ping pong table is an asset in organisations where the people have an interest in ping pong and where the organisational culture supports taking time away from work to play. Simply putting in a table where there is no interest or cultural allowance for play time will never work.

In fact, I would say that all the ‘incentives’, and we can use ping pong tables as an example, they are all ‘nice-to-haves’. But what is really, really going to keep people away from the office is if they can’t do the basic things easily: if they can’t use the technology, if they can’t get through the entry gantry effortlessly, if they can’t book a desk. We need to focus on removing barriers to enable people to do their job. We must get the basics right.


 

Carol Wong, Total Workplace Lead, Asia Pacific, Cushman & Wakefield


Q. What are the basics, the things that absolutely must be provided for employees to work to the best of their ability?

 

Firstly, frictionless technology. We must prioritise the plug-and-play experience, especially now that so many people have outstanding workspaces at home, which has created a new minimum standard for tech. That being said, a lot of the expectation around office tech is basic execution – people just want to be able to plug and play, or to keep their phone battery alive even when they forget to bring a charger. Not having these basics can be a deal-breaker. Plus, investing in technology benefits everyone: if four people in a virtual meeting connect immediately instead of after a five-minute delay, the company gains 20 minutes of productivity.

Different space typologies would be the second thing. This is such an important part of workplace strategy because it enables people to work to the best of their ability. While we usually see open collaboration areas (workstations), there should also be closed collaboration areas (meeting rooms), quiet spaces, phone booths, and social spaces like eating areas. Different types of work require different spaces.

The third thing is culture – interest groups, events or programmes that build connected, inclusive communities. We are seeing more and more companies hiring community managers to build and execute event programmes and to organise interest group meetings for employees. We know that companies with strong cultures tend to become employers of choice.

“What really drives people to do their best work? Or, what prevents them from doing their best work? This is what I want to know.”

 

Q. How can the workplace itself contribute towards a more inclusive community?

 

Beyond the provision of different space typologies, we also need to do a better job of viewing the workplace through a five-senses lens: sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. We have so many neurodiverse people in the workforce – and so many more who could potentially join the workforce, if only we could be more sympathetic in our design choices.

While we are still early in the journey, we are seeing more consideration being given to the selection of colours, patterns, lighting, and acoustics as organisations re-assess the needs of their employees following the pandemic.

This has been partly prompted by younger workers who are not afraid to admit that they struggle with sound sensitivity or have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and can’t sit for long periods of time. These individuals are expecting organisations to accommodate their different abilities and to support them to perform at their best.

Of course, workplace design is just one part of enablement; organisations are also investing in redefining policies, rewriting job roles, and cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture among their people. The ultimate aim is to build an environment in which all employees can thrive.

Q. How do you respond to critics of desk sharing who argue that hybrid work arrangements are not about elevating the employee experience, but about cutting costs?

 

It is always important to be clear about the objectives you are trying to achieve. In cases where the objective is to cut costs, then I think companies need to acknowledge this. Honest explanations can encourage employee buy-in on the changes required, especially when it is the case that cutting space may avoid other cost-cutting measures.

Q. And finally, why are – or why should – occupiers be prioritising employee experience in the workplace right now?

 

Right now, there is a war for talent. As companies search for ways to attract and retain talent, there will continue to be a focus on elevating the employee experience through enablers such as technology, space, protocols, and policies.

But the more enduring reason is because it is a win for all. We know that happier employees are more energetic and more motivated to do their work. And our view, which is supported by data, is that when employees are inspired, they inspire their peers, which then leads to talent retention. So when employees are happier, there is more productive output and there is a positive company culture. I think this is critical.

 

Carol Wong is the Asia Pacific Total Workplace Lead for Cushman & Wakefield. The Total Workplace Team helps our clients answer HOW work is changing, WHERE people live and work, and WHAT the real estate implications are, to bring innovative workplace solutions to foster an engaged and productive workforce across the Total Workplace Ecosystem.

 

$name

RELATED INSIGHTS

Reset 2022 The Office
Article • Office

Why a ‘destination office’ is an investment

Can the right fit-out encourage employees to return to the office? How creating a destination office can be more 'investment' than 'expense'.
11/9/2022
Reset 2022 The Office
Article • Office

Trends in Office Leasing

Key themes are emerging as occupiers navigate both the changing office market and shifting employee expectations post-pandemic.
11/3/2022
Reset 2022 The Office
Article • Office

Portfolio Strategy, Then and Now

Offices still need managing; real estate is still real estate. It is how corporates use that space that is now the biggest question to answer.
10/26/2022
Reset 2022 The Office
Article • Office

What does ‘green’ mean for occupiers as more companies adopt net-zero carbon targets?

Overall occupier emissions are significant. They are also one area where real carbon reduction improvements can be made.
10/28/2022
Reset 2022 The Office
Article • Office

The Future of Flex: What is flex and where is it headed?

Flex in India has moved far beyond traditional co-working spaces. But will its ragingly successful model catch on in other APAC markets?
11/8/2022

Ready to talk?

We look forward to connecting with you.
With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on Privacy & Cookies.
MORE OPTIONS
AGREE AND CLOSE
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All
SAVE SETTINGS