What we choose to do as a career is often closely tied to our sense of purpose and in turn, happiness in life. It is so much more than just a pay check for so many people. This is something that has been greatly highlighted during the awful pandemic. Working from home or even being forced to search for a new job has shone a light on how the work we do can dramatically affect how we feel about ourselves and our lives.
Aligning the work we do with our purpose in the world is part of the reason that so many people have struggled with working from home full time. The recent lockdowns have forced us into isolated situations and while some understandably want to hold on to the flexibility, many are also desperate to get back into the office with their colleagues.
But what does a supportive workspace look like? How can you improve your offices to help support employees when they do finally return to the workplace?
Creates a Business Culture
Having a physical space to work from, somewhere that re-enforces a company’s culture, with like-minded people who support the work being done, is an extension of this idea of purpose and self-worth.
Co-working spaces and offices with shared, collaborative areas are especially great at building this type of business culture. They remind employees why they are doing the work they are doing. A sense of pride is developed, particularly amongst entrepreneurs and small businesses who are working alongside people from outside their network.
In this type of environment, employees regularly find themselves connecting with others, explaining what their business is doing, their goals, future plans and where it all started. It gives people a sense of purpose and the drive to make a success out of the business, or in larger companies, their role.
A great workspace will have many qualities that subliminally support the way we feel about the work we do. Firstly, it will be a place that ignites passion for what you do. Whether this be the sight of your plaque and branding in reception, or the stunning city views you never thought your workplace would have when you were working from that garage. It is a reminder of why you get out of bed every day.
Even the smallest things offer people a sense of identity within the office. A private desk with personal objects and branded belongings for example can really make employees feel connected and supported through their work. These things increase happiness and a sense of accomplishment.
It will also be innovative. Somewhere that will support and assist you to grow or nature your business. This could be through new developments in AI and tech, or it could be through the workshops and events it holds with pioneering people from within your industry.
Then there is the support of others, mentors and management that remind people when they have worked hard, when they have achieved something great and simply provide that recognition and support that we all need.
Growing, learning and especially integrating as a new member of the team is heavily dampened without a supportive office environment and physical interaction with the team. When working from home employees often struggle to feel they have done ‘enough’ for one day and work much longer hours than they are required to.
An article in Work Design Magazine looks into the future of office space design and it believes, “Future focused companies will turn an eye to innovation, mentorship and culture both within the confines of their physical location and in their growth plans. Redesigning workspaces will take inward reflection and a deep understanding of what the organization wants to achieve, how it will support its employees and the importance of culture. Those who succeed will do so by fostering collaboration and connection, all while creating something memorable.”
The importance of the workspace goes beyond just having the team in one place to ensure nobody is skiving off. It is rooted so much more deeply than this. It is important for employees and businesses alike. So before your team return to the office, think about the ways that you can adapt to ensure this environment is better than ever before. Thinking it’s about time for a new office altogether? Get in touch with Officio on 020 3053 3882.