Creating the best workplace for employees
The ability to cater to diverse employee needs is the complexity of problems that organizations face today. The most successful organizations are now turning their attention to employee well-being as a way to gain emotional, financial and competitive advantage.
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1. How do Steelcase employees use the space in their workplace?
Leveraging the workplace to drive a more mobile, agile and innovative company culture is vital. At Steelcase, we encourage employees to use the range of spaces offered. Each floor supports mobile workers with a palette of place – a variety of workspaces for individual and group work. Steelcase workers who require dedicated or private spaces have them, but they also use unassigned spaces and work with others in different areas. All employees, resident or mobile, work where they want.
Providing complete control and choice is what we strive to achieve. Spaces that have previously been used for dedicated work stations are now used for different types of work environments that support both focus and collaborative work.
2. There is a higher impetus towards Employee Experience. How do you achieve that?
Creating a place where people want to work is becoming a top priority for more workplaces to keep employee engagement high. To pave the way for a good employee experience, workspaces need to merge first- and third-place or create spaces where employees can relax or work undisturbed. The Steelcase Global Report released in 2018 is the first research of its kind to show a clear correlation between highly engaged employees and people who are highly satisfied with their work environment.
In growth markets like India, limited real estate often doesn’t allow for full-size Coffee Lab–type office additions. Yet companies everywhere realize the benefits of the third place and are looking for ways to add elements of that experience in smaller footprints. At Steelcase we believe that bringing the comforts of home and community of third place to the workplace will foster a positive shift in workplace culture.
3. Does the ‘No fixed seating’ aspect really influence productivity?
Yes. Today the office is more than just a place of work, it’s a sanctuary for employees. In order to get meaningful work done, employees want to move around and have complete control over their choice. Today, people are working differently. There is no fixed seating aspect is the office plan for the future. A decade ago people worked out of their cubicles. But now they demand a range of spaces that support all kinds of work, whether it’s focused individual or collaborative.
People are seeking a unassigned seating for various reasons —the ability to work without colleagues stopping by, lounge furniture with a home-like feel, the energizing buzz of people, access to good food, an attractive ambience. The best way to create a productive environment is to offer a range of spaces from which employees can choose to work, based on their mood and task.
4. How do you balance diverse employee demands?
The ability to cater to diverse employee needs is the complexity of problems that organizations face today. The most successful organizations are now turning their attention to employee well-being as a way to gain emotional, financial and competitive advantage. This is a common expectation across all millennials and is a huge factor for workplace productivity.
Companies are also creating spaces that encapsulate all workplace personas. For instance, a call center lays emphasis on audio and video inputs, which would necessitate a large area with open space. A law firm would require a range of spaces with a major focus on private areas. For us, it’s all about the insights that are incorporated in our products that allow all kinds of people with the control and choice that they need.