• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Is your office space promoting employee engagement?

engagement

Strawberries don’t grow everywhere. Neither do apples. Take it from me; I have first-hand experience. My dad planted what we all knew was an apple seed with great expectations of seeing the tree fruit into delicious apple fruits in Ikeja, Lagos about two decades ago.

Alas, what we got were a semblance & hybrid of the apple! We all learnt a life lesson from the experience which is: regardless of how motivated and determined one is to grow crop, we must respect the environment if the desire is to get good results.

The same is true for employee engagement. While paying great attention to adopting and practising engagement strategies, it’s important that the environment your employees are working from is put into consideration.

To conclude that there is no correlation between these two variables –employee engagement & your office space – is to fall short on engagement.

In today’s economic climate, rethinking workplace office space configurations for maximum profit and productivity is a vital business imperative. Organisations have deliberately changed their approach to the physical work environment provided to employees. Companies now place a lot of emphasis on arranging office space to allow for more creativity, inspiration, teamwork and location which facilitate commuting, to name a few considerations.

The reality is that every company, based on their business strategy, organisational culture, and existing regulations that govern the nature of work they do is somewhat limited on how best to navigate the office space realm.

Hence, we cannot create a fit-for-all rule that companies must abide by when allocating office spaces to their employees. Our focus, however, is to get you to start integrating an employee friendly environment as a critical component of the overall workplace philosophy when determining office location, the architecture and design of buildings and space arrangement decisions.

Business owners, members of the C-Suite and line leaders must embrace the fact that a conducive environment improves productivity and increases performance – which are key indicators of an engaged workforce.

Where possible, members of your team can be involved in office ambience decisions. Ultimately, the “oga at the top” is responsible for making it happen but bringing the discussion to the table enables the consideration of various ideas which also shows employees matter.

When employees are involved in office environment change decisions and even space allocation decisions, they more often than not bring fresh ideas to light which might not have been considered by management or those responsible for such tasks. In most cases, the employees take ownership of the process; materially refine the plan and ultimately create a more positive and productive work environment.

Take a moment and look around your office space – does it motivate you? If not, make a note to do something about it.

Ngozi Adebiyi