Many companies have been operating for years, sometimes decades, but their offices tend to become outdated rather quickly. A business’s culture is reflected in its design. If claustrophobic cubicles, fluorescent lights, and old carpet are commonplace at your office, it’s safe to say your company is quite disconnected from the times. That and there’s probably a number of HR nightmares waiting to happen.
Attracting new talent, retaining millennials, and avoiding a negative impact on team motivation means updating your company design. Corporate culture goes a long way to building job satisfaction, but only when that culture resonates with both current and future hires. One of the easiest ways to communicate this is by incorporating modern workspace design into your office.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how outdated design will impact your business negatively.
The way your office looks plays an important role in controlling employee stress levels. Things like:
- Noisey office chairs
- Outdated break rooms
- Damaged desks
- Carpet peeling up at the corners of the rooms
You’d be surprised how such simple things can quickly transform into daily stress. When your office is in rough shape, that communicates to your employees that you don’t care about the way it looks. If your employees aren’t happy in the place they work, you shouldn’t expect them to be happy about the work they are completing.
A clean, modern, updated office is like wearing fashionable, current clothing. It makes people feel good, relaxed and connected to the world around them. If your clothes are worn and out of style, you don’t feel confident and ready to face the day. Your office space deserves to look good too.
Slump in Productivity
No one wants to struggle with using old equipment, refurbished technology, or a computer on its last legs. Productivity drops when team members feel like their efforts are not worth the results they’re reaching for. Outdated technology and tools that slow down or halt someone’s productive streak are going to quickly suck the passion right out of your employees. Plus, it’s difficult to keep up with competitors when they’re on a motorcycle and you’re still riding around in a jalopy.
Team motivation is key to a sustainable, flourishing business. You could lose valuable members and employees if they start feeling like what they are doing is hopeless. The easiest way to combat bitterness and pessimism from creeping into the office is to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
Perceived Value Drops
Walking into a workplace every day that feels out of time, or messy, can be quite draining on staff. Their value as team members is tied to the perceived value of the business. If everything were shiny, new, and modern, they’d feel integral to the company, motivated to work, and that they are a contributing member of the team. When they walk into a place that doesn’t seem to care, they are quickly going to feel like the company doesn’t care about them either.
In fact, data from a British Council for Offices report from 2005 showed that 97% of employees believe the workspace is a symbol that represents how much they are valued by their company.
Why can’t the company not buy new chairs or update the inventory management software? Is it doing well? Maybe they are not making the profits I thought they were when they hired me? I think I should start looking for something else…
These are just some of the thoughts that will go through employee’s heads if your company design and culture are kept up-to-date. A lack of investments coming into the business is a real possibility if it’s outdated and it won’t take long for doubt and fear to bubble up across the team when growth is stalling. A long-term future means embracing the future, not hanging onto the past out of desperation.
Embrace change, because change is good.
By 2020, nearly half of the workforce will be millennials – individuals between the ages twenty-two and thirty-six – and they continue to change corporate culture. Office design that doesn’t reflect their values, their independent nature, and their technological prowess are going to turn them off. Your business needs to be as progressive as this growing workforce. Otherwise, your teams will stagnate alongside your company.
Stifles Creative Thinking
When your atmosphere is stuck in a bygone era, so is your mind. It’s difficult to problem solve today’s issues when past problems are staring you in the face every day. An outdated office space is far from the right environment to encourage fresh, modern ideas.
Designs of the 70’s and 80’s are not going to work for 2018, 2019, and beyond the same way, those of the 40’s and 50’s were tossed aside by the 70’s and 80’s. Open concept offices that incorporate work-life balance values, sustainability, and promote collaboration are what it means to be a business now. Embrace them.
Innovation is the lifeblood of modern businesses. Every year, startups form and push interesting new ideas that heavily impact the way we live our lives, do business, and engage with each other.
Outdated offices often prevent innovation due to the way they are set up. Traditional offices focused heavily on isolation and on creating separation. While this was beneficial for employees who wanted peace and quiet, collaboration is the name of the game today.
Creatives thrive when they are able to collaborate with other creatives. Sharing ideas and receiving feedback is a crucial part of the creative process. Modern offices prioritise collaboration by creating communal spaces, shared workspaces, and other areas where employees can collaborate and communicate.
This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice privacy, but rather, that you should include dedicated collaboration areas in your new office.
And remember, your competitors are already doing this. If you don’t offer the same perks, you’ll have trouble attracting new talent and quickly fall behind. Tradition is good, but don’t let it hold your business back.
Leave the Past Behind
Company culture and office design shouldn’t be left to collect dust like your dad’s moth-eaten Sunday best. By updating the look of your business, you’re telling clients, customers, and employees that you care about its present and its future. Old, rusted wheels can’t forge a path ahead. Don’t get stuck in the design ditches of the past.