The benefits of well-designed workspaces impact not only existing employees but the talent companies hope to attract, as well. For job seekers navigating a marketplace crowded with options, including the increasing lure of the “gig economy,” people want to know they’re valued, that their wellbeing is considered and that they can be comfortable and productive at work.

Many of these elements are influenced by culture and management, but others are directly affected by the physical space and how people respond to it. For example: Does the culture allow for freedom of movement throughout the day? If so, are there inviting, functional areas between which people are able to move and work? Is there adequate power? When in these spaces, do workers feel comfortable and productive?

Each of these questions can prompt leadership to create inspiring spaces or tweak the spaces they have. But designing a powerful workplace that encourages productivity won’t happen by accident.

Here are 6 things to consider when designing an office that will inspire your team — and woo future candidates:

1. Workplace Design

Designing a workplace with a range of postures and attention to wellbeing has been shown to increase employee satisfaction and performance and reduce absenteeism due to injury, illness, stress and disconnect. But it’s more than attending to ergonomics alone; employers should consider incorporating a range of postures in which people can work. Standing height tables and active seating solutions like turnstone’s Buoy help people incorporate motion throughout the day. Including lounge seating is another way to incorporate postures that give people choices and allow them to move throughout the day.

2. Employee Productivity

In their article highlighting four ways to retain talent, Entrepreneur magazine named performance as one key to keeping people engaged in their work — and performance is directly tied to productivity. People want to feel they have a purpose — that they’re accomplishing something and making a difference. Beyond outlining clear goals and measurable objectives for employees, designing a space that promotes ease of concentration and provides easy access to all necessary project materials is critical to productivity.

3. Employee Retention

Great workplace design can enhance employee engagement and retention by helping workers feel at home and contributing to their overall health and wellbeing. Movements like biophilia and improving access to outdoor spaces and natural light are just a few design considerations that employees appreciate. Including fitness areas and work cafes are other perks that do more than just deliver good health — they provide organic ways for people to come together and build relationships, two things Gallup recognizes as elements reinforcing the decision to stay in a job.

4. Employee Satisfaction

According to the Steelcase 360 Global Report, employee engagement and satisfaction is strongly linked to the physical workspace. For example:

  • 88% of the most highly engaged and highly satisfied workers are able to choose where to work in the office based on the task at hand. (i.e., private, small group or collaborative spaces)
  • 98% can concentrate easily
  • 98% can move around throughout the day
  • 96% can physically move and change postures during the day

Keeping these cultural and physical elements in mind when designing your space will lead to more positive outcomes for your employees.

5. Office Design Ideas

We recommend thinking about “owned” and “shared” spaces when designing your office. For example: Do you want people to have assigned spaces where they can leave personal items like photos and notebooks? Do you envision private team rooms or project rooms that will house project materials and brainstorming notes? These are owned spaces. By contrast, shared spaces are social, collaborative … and shared. Users reserve those spaces for temporary work sessions or project brainstorming, but when they leave, they take their belongings with them.

Thinking through options for both owned and shared spaces will help your team stay productive and focused. The “owned” and “shared” lens also produces a range of spaces from which people can choose throughout their day.

Need help designing your office? Check out turnstone’s space planning services.

6. Positive Work Culture

All of these efforts hang on the existence of a positive work culture. Without trust, freedom and empowerment, these elements face fierce opposition. Leadership should explicitly communicate these values to their team so that people feel empowered to move around throughout the day and discover their best way of working.