New Zealand is tipped to be the OECD’s rockstar economy of 2014 on the back of the Christchurch rebuild and soaring international dairy prices. Organisations can set themselves apart in this increasingly competitive environment by creating workplaces that reflect their brand and culture, retain and attract top talent, and increase organisational performance.
Alignment of the workplace to the company’s brand and culture: An organisation’s brand is the outward expression of what it stands for, while culture is the internal beliefs and values e.g. ‘the way things are done around here’. As new media creates more transparent organisations, there becomes an increasing need for an organisation’s brand to be an authentic representation of its culture. The ability of space to influence the behaviour, feelings, interactions and motivation of employees means workplace design can provide the vital connection between brand and culture.
Innovation: In a knowledge economy, innovation is critical and while it’s widely accepted that the external environment can encourage innovation, the idea that it needs to be on the scale of Google’s eclectic offices is a bit of a misnomer. Simply creating the opportunities for people from different areas, departments or disciplines to come together, in a casual environment has been proven to foster innovation.
Strategic workplace design provides a working environment with different spaces for collaboration, from formal bookable meetings spaces, to casual off-the-cuff conversation areas. In addition, as the market for office space tightens, taking a strategic approach to the existing workplace can free up space and create room for growth without moving premises.
Employee Satisfaction: People are a company’s greatest asset and their single biggest cost. Salary costs can be 10 times the total cost of capital, operations, maintenance, and rent combined. However regular surveys of New Zealand’s best organisations to work by Unlimited Magazine consistently demonstrate that higher staff satisfaction results in higher profits and revenue. A growing economy increases pressure on organisations to attract and keep top talent, as increasingly sophisticated workers demand a workplace that is attractive, supports their needs, and provides them with an incentive to stay.