Throughout the day, our feelings are constantly influenced by our surroundings, which goes some way towards explaining the importance of good office design. Increasingly, companies are understanding the key role that the workplace itself can play in keeping employees happy, boosting productivity and even reducing staff absenteeism.
However, in addition to keeping existing staff happy, a truly interesting, imaginative and useful office fit out can also provide a much needed boost when it comes to recruitment. Here, we take a more detailed look at how the physical workspace itself can help to improve your business's recruitment drive.
Perhaps the most obvious way in which the design of your office can impact upon recruitment is through making a good first impression. When a potential hire walks in, they will immediately start to form an idea about the company culture and whether they want to work there - and they only have very limited evidence to base these ideas on.
Essentially, this means they will be forming their opinion about the business based on what they can see. This is why it is absolutely crucial that reception areas and interview rooms not only look nice, but also convey your brand values. Remember, you never get a second change to make that first impression on a candidate.
"The way an office is decorated, furnished and personalised speaks a lot about the type of employer you are," says Rebecca Murphy, writing for MyPeopleBiz. "Beautiful office spaces are important when prestigious candidates or clients walk into your workspace. They will look at the office and immediately make judgements."
Another way in which you can improve your recruitment drive through workspace design is via the inclusion of facilities and areas which have broad appeal to potential recruits. These may include simple things like outdoor areas for socialising, but may also include things like gyms, childcare facilities and even sleep areas.
By working with an office design company, you can decide which of these facilities you can afford, which fit your company ethos and which would be most beneficial to your employees. Google have enjoyed success through the implementation of gaming areas, for instance, while Pandora have introduced exercise rooms.
Moreover, a study carried out by Empirica Research found that 24 percent of candidates would accept lower pay than they are currently on, if they had access to appealing facilities. Therefore, including such facilities into your design can help you to save money on recruitment and help to reduce staff turnover associated with pay disputes.
Designs to Suit All Needs
Finally, a truly great design can help to boost recruitment by reassuring candidates that you can cater for the way in which they like to work. For example, the main part of your office may be open plan, in order to encourage collaboration among employees, but what if you get a high-value candidate who likes privacy? This is why you should try to make sure every bit of space within your office has genuine value.
"While it's still not a conversation in all boardrooms, we're certainly seeing acceptance of the science of workspace design," explains Sam Sahni, Morgan Lovell's head of workspace consultancy. "Space is expensive, so it's being seen more as an asset that needs a value attached to it."
Many businesses perceive the only competition element within recruitment to be between the candidates. In truth, your business is in competition with anyone else those candidates apply for jobs with. Through intelligent design, which accommodates different employee behaviours, you can improve your chances of landing the best candidates.