Bob owns a manufacturing company; his customers are national and international. A couple years ago, he thought he wanted to sell. He called a broker friend and set up an appointment.
When the broker walked through the door, his first words were: “When was the last time you freshened this area up?” Customers rarely visited Bob. The front office was spartan and dingy, unstaffed, and used primarily for deliveries.
Suddenly Bob saw his front office through new eyes. The walls were scuffed, the plastic plants were layered in dust. There was a haphazard stack of empty cardboard boxes tossed in the corner; the contents hauled into the shop months ago. The carpet was grimy and the windows dirty. Bob was appalled, how had the entrance to his company come to this?
After working from home and collaborating at a distance, the importance of the workplace and all it offers has become clear. It’s more than just a place to work. It fosters culture and a sense of community. There are countless benefits to having a physical place that brings an organization’s people together.
Growth: Many companies lost momentum while trying to adapt to COVID, but the pivot back to growth will be here soon. As leaders shift and change strategies, conference rooms, and in-person gathering areas will provide places to establish new priorities, rally around a vision, and set the stage for growth.
Innovation: Innovation is fueled when creative people come together to collaborate. The workplace fosters these connections and promotes groundbreaking activities. Two-dimensional technology cannot move the needle as three-dimensional interaction can.
Culture: Experiences shape behaviors and behaviors over time, shape culture. The blend of diverse points of view, spontaneous hallway meetings, and lunch with coworkers provides opportunities for storytelling, relationship building, and teaching. This is not easily replicated through a screen.
Attract & Retain: Space is an expression of the company; it sends important signals about what new employees can expect in your organization. Are there social spaces to meet with teammates? Are they bright, airy, and well kept?
Well-being: Spaces can make us feel cared for, can promote a sense of calm, or communicate the need to get to work. The floorplan of space can promote movement and offer ergonomic support.
Change Management: Communicating change can be done over technology, but the best change management practices come through modeling new behaviors and reinforcing expectations together. Unplanned hallway conversations, being able to share, and time before and after meetings are valuable opportunities to connect during times of uncertainty.
Your workplace is more than the sum of the people, technology, architecture, and furniture. A clean, well-organized space supports all the different ways we work, bringing people and technology together to enhance wellbeing and trust.
In the end, Bob did not sell. But together, he and his staff had fun making changes to his property and building. They are proud of their renovated space.
The road is easier together, (that’s why there are Raven Roundtables.)
Time is precious. We are grateful you’ve chosen to spend some with us today.