As many companies struggle to convince employees to return to their physical offices, the attention on office culture is as important as ever.
Office culture is basically the character and personality of your organization. It is the sum of its unique values, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.
While many businesses let their workplace culture emerge organically, a great office culture stems from exceptional management, workplace practices, policies, people, and of course, office design.
A great office culture places a high priority on spaces that promote employee health and well-being. Offices that incorporate biophilic design elements and have designated relaxation areas, greatly improve working conditions for their team by combating cognitive fatigue, lowering stress levels, and enhancing overall health.
A stressful work environment is detrimental to our health and well-being. That’s why companies need to provide health insurance benefits, a fitness stipend, and mental health resources to encourage their team to stay healthy and motivated.
If employees are feeling healthy and well, they will produce good work. Enhanced productivity and improved job performance are some of the other benefits that a great office culture brings to workers.
Providing open and flexible spaces, standing desks, and meeting rooms, are part of the design options that help teams collaborate and work easily. A comfortable workplace is key to enhancing employee productivity.
The right office culture encourages workers to expand their personal and professional skills and knowledge for their own benefit and that of the team and the company. Companies that create initiatives and opportunities for lifelong learning to help each employee achieve their goals and dreams are more likely to be successful.
Companies can implement regular goal-setting meetings, industry lunch and learns, resources, coaching and mentoring opportunities as well as an annual budget to be used for professional development. This helps employees continue to grow both personally and professionally to reach their maximum potential.
Work-life balance is another important consideration of a great office culture. Companies that support their employees by allowing flexible work hours, extra paid vacation days, and personal time off encourage their team to maintain a successful work-life balance. By focusing on outcomes rather than inputs you can reinforce a culture of accountability and teamwork.
The onboarding process is key to preventing employee turnover, which costs companies large amounts of time and money every year. Once a new hire is acclimated and engaged with the company, they are more likely to stick around. A study by Glassdoor found that companies with an effective onboarding process improved their new hires’ engagement rate by 82%.
A positive office culture should promote and encourage activities and initiatives that foster teamwork. Retreats, happy hours, team yoga, and community service opportunities are just some of the ways that companies help their teams form stronger connections with each other. Team building exercises help us understand each other more, empathize with one another and deepen our bond as a team.
A great office culture plays a key role in your team and company’s success. It provides the best possible working environment to support and invest in your people. With a supportive office culture and the right motivation, your employees and business will continue to grow, scale, and succeed.
*The author is a licensed architect and entrepreneur. www.advfirm.com