The Role of Office Design in Attracting & Retaining Talent

In today’s highly competitive and globalised world, businesses everywhere are constantly on the lookout for new ways to maximise employee productivity. And, if you run a business of any size and want to encourage your teams to be more productive and get better results, then providing employees with an environment that is capable of encouraging and enhancing productivity should be at the top of your list.

Anybody who knows their stuff in business will tell you that it’s essential to attract the right employees for your business. You want to hire people who have the correct skill-set for the job that you will be giving them, but also individuals who are determined, dedicated, motivated, and have values that closely align with yours when it comes to their work ethic and professional life. If you are launching a start-up, the need for the right employees is even more pertinent – the first people that you hire have the power to make or break your business. You need to attract talent that is able to help your company reach its goals and adapt as it grows.

For a successful business, investing in a workplace that both attracts and retains the top talent is important. Office design and aesthetics play a larger part in this than you might realise.

Here are some of the design strategies to keep in mind for your office.

Create A Mixture of Spaces:

Acknowledging that everybody works differently is a sign of good management. So, take it one step further with your team by making sure that the office is a space where everybody has the resources that they need to get the work done as best they can, in the style that they find most effective for them.

As an employer, it’s important to make sure that you are providing a working environment that is adaptable to cater for the different styles of work taking place within your teams. When planning your design, it’s a good idea to factor in work zones that exist to promote creativity, such as quiet zones for workers who prefer to get their heads down and concentrate in a quiet environment, or for holding meetings in a place where they don’t distract anybody not in attendance.

Some organisations prefer an open plan workplace, which can provide significant benefits to both the employer and the employees. Open plan office designs make it easy for teams to quickly and effectively collaborate with each other in-person and improve both communication and workplace relationships, adding to the overall wellbeing and morale amongst the staff.

Office culture:

Bear in mind that when you hire somebody, you’re not just hiring them to work for you – you’re hiring them to spend a huge part of their week at the office, every week. You’re probably already working on a fun and vibrant workplace culture that makes the office somewhere everybody enjoys being at, so why not incorporate this into your design, too?

Take a look at some of the world’s best employers. Google, for example, is noted as a fantastic place to work and they certainly don’t have rows and rows of boring desks with not much else. These employers understand that taking a break is just as important as working hard and provide comfortable areas for employees to relax, have a bit of fun, and wind down when needed. Even if you’re only working in a small office space, a comfortable break-out area with a sofa and a TV can make a huge difference. If you’ve got the space, consider adding elements like pool tables, table tennis, or even a gaming console that employees can make the most of during their break or if they need to take a breather from their project for a few minutes.

Making mental health a priority:

Nobody ever felt fantastic for spending forty hours a week in a dark, drab environment – so make your employees’ wellbeing and mental health a priority when it comes to your office design. Even simple changes like adding some indoor plants or decorating the walls in cheerful colours can make all the difference when it comes to how your employees feel in the work environment, and this has an overall positive impact on their productivity levels as a result. Some important things to consider are:

  • Lighting: The amount of natural light that you let into your office can make all the difference to employee mood. Plus, more natural light can help the business save money, as the brighter a room is naturally, the less often you’ll need to switch the lights on. Add more windows if you can, but if that’s not possible then try to keep the area around windows clear so that as much light as possible is allowed in.
  • Colours: When decorating, the colours that you choose can make a big difference to the general vibe in the office. Neutral and relaxing colours help to create a calm atmosphere for your employees, while bright, cheerful colours can create an exciting feeling in a room. You may want to decorate your office keeping in mind the type of work that you’re hoping to promote – blues and greens tend to be good colours for office spaces that promote creativity, thinking, and performance while brighter colours like yellow or orange can be good for sales departments to provide a mood boost.
  • Furniture: Don’t skimp when it comes to investing in furniture for your employees; they are using it for eight hours per day and cheap, poorly made office furniture can lead to health problems, creating a bigger impact than you may have expected on your business, which simply won’t be worth the initial cost savings. Look for furniture that is comfortable and ergonomic and try to create a homely environment that helps your employees feel safe and cared for.
  • Air quality: Finally, consider the air quality when designing your office space. You can use vents and air purifiers to ensure that the air your employees breathe in is clean. Indoor plants are also an ideal way to clear the air and these can add further aesthetic value to your workspace.

For more tips on providing a workplace that retains top talent by keeping employees happy at work, visit

Keep Logistics in Mind:

When it comes to designing your office space in such a way that promotes creativity and helps your business retain top talent, the last thing that you want to do is make anybody’s job harder than it needs to be. So, keep logistics in mind when putting together your design. For example, make sure that photocopiers and printers are within easy reach of all desks and if your office kitchen is right at the other end of the building, consider placing drink-making facilities and small fridges in each room so that employees can stay refreshed without having to get up and walk all the way to the kitchen.

Consider communication, too – if your office isn’t open plan or the building you’re in isn’t suitable for an open-plan design, then make sure that your design allows for as much easy communication between individuals and teams as possible. While you can utilise cloud collaboration and messaging apps like Trello and Slack to ensure everyone stays in touch, no matter where they are in the building, employees will appreciate a well-designed office that allows them to keep up with their co-workers face to face and collaborate in-person without having to make too long a journey.

Remove Clutter:

Clutter can sometimes be inevitable in the office, but the truth is, it can get in the way of productivity and even lead to a low mood among employees. So, make sure that your office is designed in such a way to minimise clutter as much as possible. Provide generous storage space for office items and give your employees desks with plenty of drawers and shelving that they can use, to avoid piles of paper growing.

Simple things, such as providing ample bins and recycling stations around your office can make a massive difference to the overall vibe, look, and feel in your workplace and employees will be grateful that throwing out their rubbish or recycling a water bottle doesn’t take too much time away from their work.

Embrace technology:

Finally, whether or not your business is in the tech industry, it’s important for modern workplaces to embrace technology. When putting together the design for your office, keep this in mind – make sure that there are ample plug sockets available, for example, not just for computers, laptops, and other electrical office equipment but also for employees’ devices, which are increasingly used at work and can be beneficial to productivity.

Bear in mind that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to office and workplace design; each organisation and company is different and your design should not only be reflective of what you’re hoping to achieve at work, but also your company values, mission, and goals. Pay close attention to providing comfortable, enjoyable working conditions, and reducing distractions.

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