More companies are beginning to realize the real impact workplace design has on productivity and the bottom line. A recent Gallup study showed that 87 percent of employees worldwide are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. Disengaged employees are liable to spread negativity to coworkers due to unhappiness and unproductivity, and can be extremely toxic to your organization. In the United States alone, Gallup estimates that the cost of disengaged employees amounts up to US$550 billion per year.
In another study, findings showed that disengaged workers had 37 percent higher absenteeism, were 49 percent more accident-prone and 60 percent more likely to commit errors. Unsurprisingly, firms with low employee engagement scores were also shown to be less productive and profitable.
What traits do you see in your workplace?
Your office design plays a key role in engaging your people. In JLL’s whitepaper, Workplace Productivity: Workplace Strategy’s Transformative Role, identified 10 characteristics of a productive workplace. The research findings also showed that in addition to supporting the daily tasks of your employees—be it individual work, virtual meetings or informal/formal collaboration—a productive workspace must also drive cross-pollination of ideas, engage employees and foster a sense of community.
However, this is an unlikely scene in many offices today. Despite increasing awareness, many companies still do not provide the workspaces that enable their employees to do their jobs more productively: offices are still designed with little flexibility between meeting spots, mismatched workspace resources or poorly constructed floor plans, and employees continue to work in spaces that impede rather than enhance their performance.
In such a scenario, how can these companies take a step in the right direction?
Identify and eliminate waste
Waste is categorized as anything above or below the optimal amount of space, equipment, time or tools essential to your business needs. “Real estate creates work environments. By creating spaces that encourage the behavior that you are looking to drive to those business ideas and business goals and objectives and removing the spaces that don’t, you can have a great impact on the bottom line,” says Bernice Boucher, Head of Workplace Strategy – Americas, JLL.
Boucher also explains that workplace productivity is about output. For knowledge workers, she says, “It is important to always ask yourself: ‘Am I creating the flow of information? Am I breaking down the barriers? Am I opening up the things up so that people feel like they can perform the individual work that they need to, and the group work that they need to in an effective way?’”
By allocating the right amount of space where and when you need it, your company can create value and increase productivity in an environment that invigorates collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Real estate can be a game changer in enabling your organization’s broader strategy. Are you maximizing its potential?
Interested to find out more about Future of Work? Learn more about our outlook on the changing world of work here.