As a nation we have learnt a lot in the past year, particularly when it comes to the way we do business and the people that make those businesses great. It is a common saying that a business is only ever as good as its employees. At Officio we couldn’t be more on board with that saying and it got us thinking, what actually makes a great place to work?
Pre-pandemic people would have considered a beer in the fridge on a Friday a great business perk. However, since then we have learnt a lot about what it means to be flexible in the workplace, to look after wellbeing, for upper management to be accessible and most of all for employees to feel that the work they do makes a difference to the world.
With this in mind, we have listed the top five things that make a business a great place to work. Does your workplace match up?
This time two years ago, there wouldn’t have been many businesses allowing employees to work from home let alone offering it as an option whenever needed. However, recent events have shone a light on the ways in which flexibility opens opportunities and in turns boosts productivity.
It’s not just about working from home either. Having flexible hours that fit around family commitments for example, is now a key priority when considering job opportunities. Women can often be overlooked for promotions or certain roles in business due to family commitments. Offering flexible working hours and the opportunity to work from home may be one way to overcome this and similar disparities.
Wellbeing was a huge focus in many workplaces before the pandemic but the last year has brought it firmly into the spotlight. In today’s climate, a great workplace has the option to spend time outdoors; offers quiet spaces to concentrate on larger tasks; provides generous holiday allowances and even allow pets in the office.
Many businesses have even taken on a minimum but no maximum limit on holiday allowances. The idea behind this is that employees take time off whenever they need it, allowing them to bring more energy to their roles whenever they are there.
The desire to bring pets into the office is another effect of the pandemic. With an extra 3.2 million households in the UK having acquired a pet, according to the PetFood Manufacturers’ Association, owners are reluctant to leave their furry friends at home. However, with research to show the mood boosting effects that having animals in the workspace can have, more bosses are also keen to have them around.
Sense of Purpose
Another priority of modern employees is a need for the work they do to feel valuable and make a difference to the world. They want an environment where they can innovate, collaborate and feel a sense of purpose. Workspaces that accommodate clients for example, in environments that support creativity, are known to improve workplace satisfaction immensely.
The opportunity to learn, develop and grow within a role is another important aspect of employees’ sense of purpose in the workplace. Feeling valued enough to be given the opportunity to progress and take on new projects is vital for employees’ attitudes towards the work they do and how they view themselves.
Access to Upper Management
It isn’t often that many CEOs or senior leaders sit within the same office as their employees, nor do they always need to, but employees experience greater work satisfaction when they feel heard by such members of the team. In the modern world employees look to their management for emotional support and understanding.
The ease of creating appointments or meetings via platforms such as Zoom has allowed people to come together more conveniently, meaning that managers have more flexibility and often more time when it comes to chatting to their employees. This evens out the levels of hierarchy in business, allowing employees to feel supported rather than pressured or intimidated by upper management.
Equality in the community has never been more of a focus than in 2020/21. There has been mass coverage concerning racism, sexism and homophobia in the media in the last two years and people are looking at ways they can make a difference in their own lives. This includes everything from the ethics of those they purchase from to the morals or their employers. People are looking for employers who offer clear evidence of diversity, equality and inclusion for their employees.
Alongside inclusion and equality, employees also want to know that the company they work for stands for more than just increasing profits. They want to be involved in a business who provides products or services which are ethical, economical and of course, have a positive impact on the world. People want to feel good about the company they work for.
In summary, finding a great place to work is not just about money and material perks any more. Companies need to consider the core values of their employees and what benefits speak to their human nature not just their bank balance.
If you’re looking for a new workspace to support the ethos and culture of your business, give Officio a call on 020 3053 3882.