3 Workspace Design Tips That Attract Better Talent

3 Workspace Design Tips That Attract Better Talent

Pause for a moment, and take a look around you. What are some of the first things you notice in your workplace? Maybe it’s the contemporary furniture, spacious layout, or the natural lighting. Or perhaps it’s the relaxing lounge area where some of your co-workers are currently collaborating. Whatever your workplace consists of, it’s impacting how you and your co-workers feel, think and work.

But its impact doesn’t stop there. Your workplace’s design also affects those who visit your business, including your job candidates. If they don’t feel like they belong in your workplace, they won’t be nearly as willing to accept your job offers. On the other hand, if your workplace offers a work environment that your prospective employees desire, you can win them over in a heartbeat. In fact, a study from Hassle Studios found that your company’s workspace influences job seekers more than the salaries you offer them. To make your workplace more attractive to your target candidates, follow these steps:

Expand Beyond the Basics

When job seekers are choosing between multiple job offers, The Hassell Studios study found that additional physical amenities is the top influencer in their decision. These are the amenities that benefit primarily employees, such as in-house gyms, car parking, or childcare services. Because candidates highly prioritize extra facilities, it’s a great idea to consider turning that old, unnecessary spare conference room into something that provides value to your target candidates and employees.

To figure out which physical amenities your employees and candidates most prefer, ask them! You can ask them directly, or you can create and dstribute a short survey about workspace preferences. Once you’ve collected enough data, review the results and identify common preferences. This will help you determine which new amenities will help you attract and retain the employees you want most.

An example of relevant workplace facilities (photo credit: SmartPractice)

SmartPractice is a great example of an employer that offers extra facilities to engage its ideal candidates. The organization values health and wellbeing, so it aims to recruit wellness-inspired candidates and to promote the wellbeing of its employees. To pursue these goals, SmartPractice created a workspace that includes an on-site gym, wellness clinic, and much more. Because these amenities have been highly effective in promoting health and wellbeing, SmartPractice has been voted the healthiest workplace in Phoenix. The organization highlights its amenities and awards on its career site to engage its target candidates.

Create an Environment that Engages Visitors

According to the Hassell Studios study, job seekers find colorful and modern workspaces at least three times more attractive than grey, formal workspaces. So no matter which industry you work in, your candidates are searching for a vibrant and up-to-date workspace. A Gensler survey also found that people would forego extra facilities for a more creative workspace. Plus, according to The Psychology of Boredom, employees lose focus and drive when their work environment isn't stimulating. So if you want your company to be successful, incorporate colors and textures throughout your workspace.

Officevibe explains that every color and texture generates a psychological response, which means you can use them strategically to help prospective and current employees feel better in your workspace. For example, if you have a room where interviews are usually conducted, incorporate blue and orange elements to help interviewees feel relaxed yet enthusiastic. But most importantly, consider how your ideal candidates and current employees want to feel at work (and how you want them to feel at work). Then use colors and textures accordingly.

Nokia headquarters (photo credit: Office Snapshots)

Nokia is one employer that successfully uses colors and textures throughout its workplace to engage visitors. As you walk throughout the establishment, you will notice each room has a dominant, vibrant color like red or green. Health.com explains that these bright colors promote happiness and boost energy levels. Nokia contrasted these powerful colors with soft textures like wooden walls and squishy couches, which are proven to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Make Your Space More Versatile

Just like the rest of us, job seekers love choices. So when it comes to your workplace, give your employees options as to how and where they can work! According to the Gensler survey, organizations that let their employees choose where they work are viewed as more innovative and have higher-performing employees. Additionally, the General Services Administration reports that flexible workspaces are proven to help companies hire and retain a world-class workforce—while also boosting employee productivity and performance.

Before you make your workspace more versatile, determine which kind of work environments will work best for your employees and business goals. For example, if you want to cultivate a creative and inspiring environment, replace individual desks with colorful community tables and offer plenty of areas to collaborate in. If you want your workplace to promote focus and productivity, give every employee their own desk and offer private meeting rooms. Also feel free to provide a wide array of work environments, as long as it makes sense for your company culture.

Yelp headquarters (photo credit: Jasper Sanidad)

Yelp’s office in San Francisco is an excellent example of a workspace layout that is both versatile for employees and effective for the business. When you visit the Yelp office, you will quickly notice its expansive layout consisting of inviting commons areas, spacious meeting rooms, and various seating arrangements. These type of workspaces enable Yelp to embrace its startup tech culture where team members are encouraged to collaborate and innovate. At the same time, these spaces give Yelp employees different options as to where they can complete their work.

How to Renovate with Limited Resources

If you don’t have the resources to make major workspace updates, don't give up hope! There are still affordable ways to make your workspace more attractive to your target candidates. Here are some great examples of easy and inexpensive workspace updates:

  • Sell unused office furniture and use the money to buy new furniture or resources that your employees will use and appreciate.
  • Purchase fabrics, artwork, plants and simple decor from affordable retail outlets to easily add colors and textures to your workspace.
  • Let your employees personalize and decorate their assigned work areas so that they can create their ideal work environments (see picture below).

An example of a customized workspace (photo credit: Kat Ignatova)

Gensler found only one in four U.S. workers are in their optimal work environments. So if you take initiative to improve your workspace, even if it’s just minor adjustments, you can more effectively compete for the 75 percent of workers who aren’t satisfied with their current workspace. But remember to display your workspace to online job seekers once you've updated it! Showcase photos and videos of your workspace on your career site, publish online content featuring it, and give every interviewee a tour when they visit your business. This way, when your ideal candidates experience your workspace, they will be eager to return and stay.

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