The distributed workplace is no longer just a future vision. In today’s digital environment, it has become commonplace. Experts estimate that within a few years, the majority of UK workers will work from a remote location. Globally, similar trends are starting to take shape. Already, more than 70% of the global workforce works remotely at least one day per week.
Technological advances and increasing workforce expectations have been the drivers of this trend. And it’s not just about working from home, either: If you listen to experts, 30% of all office space in the UK will be flexible, showcasing the rise of co-working spaces.
This type of flexibility is easy to misinterpret. You might think that office space, company-owned or as a co-working space, no longer matters as much as it once did. In reality, it still does. What’s changed is the importance of that space as it relates to your standing as an employer.
Whether you operate a co-working space or offer a more permanent, traditional solution, your workforce has high expectations. Their flexibility has given them choices to work in multiple spaces. Showcasing your office space is vital to combat this new-found competition. More specifically, consider these six reasons to showcase your workspace in today’s corporate culture.
1. FEATURE YOUR INVESTMENT IN THE SPACE AND WORKFORCE
A beautiful office space is an investment in not just your company, but everyone who works for it. Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen a distinct movement from a series of cubicles to open space plans and social spaces that allow teams to hang out and have fun even while working hard. Companies like Google have led the way in building that balance, and have seen drastic benefits as a result.
Even smaller details matter in that investment. For instance, one recent study found an 11% increase in productivity when companies improved the airflow to individual desk spaces. Making that investment, of course, is one thing. Visually showing your office space allows you to tell the world and your external stakeholders just where you have made the improvements to maximize employee happiness and productivity.
The investment your company makes in your team is a crucial feature to highlight. That is true, whether the space is designed for remote workers from multiple companies or restricted to your own employees:
For company-owned spaces, you can assure shareholders, donors, and other external stakeholders that you are taking care of your workforce.
Co-working spaces can showcase the work atmosphere to attract short-term workers who prefer a comfortable environment in which they’re well-taken care of.
To feature that investment, you need to go visual. More than images, VR experiences and 3D virtual tours allow you to go into the details of the investments you have made. For all your audiences, you can easily and without too many words explain exactly what benefits you offer anyone sitting at a desk in the space.
2. HIGHLIGHT AND EMPHASISE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Beyond the investment in physical items, showcasing your office space can play a vital role in highlighting your company culture to anyone who cares to pay attention. According to research by Deloitte, 88% of employees believe that culture plays a major role in business success. When drilling down, the work environment plays a major role in building that culture.
Of course, more nuanced and intangible factors play a role in building that culture as well. That said, don’t underestimate the physical office space. Whether you have an open space layout with collaborative spaces or closed-off offices says a lot about your company and its priorities. Most communication is nonverbal, and the same holds true here: you can talk about teamwork, but showing that you offer the space to allow teams to thrive is that much more important.
Even for co-working spaces, culture can play a significant role. The tone you set with your office space can prepare remote workers for the environment and moods they’ll face when they occupy a desk. Some of the best co-working spaces around offer collaborative spaces as well, building teamwork opportunities in unexpected situations.
Simply showing the space is one way to accomplish this feat. The ideal solution is more interactive. Features of professionals in the space or even real-time feeds can help you get the right culture across and set expectations for anyone looking to work in this location.
3. PROMOTE COLLABORATION AND ENGAGEMENT
Speaking of collaboration: ideally, this area is not just a Trojan horse to showcase culture. Collaboration is a true differentiator in today’s business environment. In fact, a study by Slack found that being part of a team is one of the single biggest priorities for knowledge workers across industries when it comes to evaluating their employers.
Your office space needs to reflect that priority. In addition to individual workspaces, that might mean an open conference room with the technology necessary to make communication and collaboration easy. Even social spaces that allow for team activities can be a great differentiator when evaluating your space against other alternatives.
Collaboration, done right, leads to better engagement and a closer connection to the space. Even in a co-working environment, it allows members of the same company to work together. In that scenario, it might also mean offering remote collaboration experiences, such as videoconferencing possibilities that bridge distances seamlessly.
We know, of course, that engaged employees are more productive. That’s why this aspect of physical office space is so important. If you can communicate the emphasis you place on collaboration not just for the sake of culture but also to promote that engagement, you can make a major difference in how your audiences perceive the space.
4. BROADCAST YOUR INVESTMENT TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS
It’s not necessarily intuitive for your office space to act as a marketing tool. If you get it right, though, you might be able to accomplish just that. We get into more detail below on how this space can help you recruit. Before digging into that, let’s discuss the difference broadcasting your space to potential clients can make.
Why does your company attract clients? This complex question can prompt a variety of answers. Just a few of them include:
- You offer something no one else in your industry does.
- You offer a better price than most—if not all—your competitors.
- You represent a valuable long-term investment for a partnership.
Remember this will not just be a space in which your teams work. It might also be one in which you meet with and present to clients. That’s why the right office space is a part of the pitch as much as the venue for it.
In addition, showing clients the work environment for your teams can be valuable. They’ll know their investment is well-made in professionals who have the best possible conditions to work on their behalf. The right office space, as Google has shown, might even be a key differentiator in the eyes of more sophisticated business clients.
5. BUILD A MEANINGFUL, LIVED BRAND
Put the above points together, and you begin to realise the value that your office space can bring to building your brand. We know brand as the collection of perceptions that your audience has when they think about your company, product, or service. If you can truly feature your physical workspace as a major signifier of your culture and promoting agent of collaboration, it will have a major impact on those perceptions.
Studies repeatedly show that the most successful brands live their promise. They don’t just talk their mission, vision, and values, but they show them every day in the work they do, how they treat clients, and the environment in which they work.
People make the difference. They live the brand every day, and can inherently judge its success (or failure) in bringing its promise to the real world. If those people find a perfect work environment that allows them to be as engaged, collaborative, and productive as possible? Watch out.
Of course, not every client, stakeholder, or co-working prospect has the chance to talk to one of your employees with experience in working in the space. That’s where showcasing the space comes back into play. If you can effectively and visually connect your office space to your larger brand, you’ve set the standard for building on your promise and realising it on a consistent basis.
6. ATTRACT BETTER EMPLOYEES
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, featuring your office space is a crucial part of employer branding. We already discussed the brand in a larger sense above. It pays to dig down into one of its sub sections: the way you seem to prospective employees, both short-term for co-working spaces and long-term for internal company offices.
Employers across industries—but especially those in knowledge-based fields—are beginning to realise the importance of recruiting top-level talent to their company. The statistics speak for themselves:
According to LinkedIn, companies with a stronger employer brand see a 43% decrease in cost per hire.
HubSpot reports that 92% of employees would consider leaving their current company for one with a better employer brand.
Many other studies support similar conclusions. In knowledge-based industries, the talent on your side is a major driver of competitive advantage. Showcasing the space in which they will work, especially if it goes beyond the basic desk or cubicle, is a perfect opportunity to convince them that your spot is that much better than anything the competition can offer.
HOW TO SHOWCASE YOUR OFFICE SPACE TO IMPROVE YOUR EMPLOYER BRANDING
In short, showcasing your office space makes sense for a number of reasons. Beyond culture, recruitment, and stakeholder engagement, it also promotes one simple thing: the fact that your teams are actually coming into the office on a regular basis to work together and engage face-to-face. In today’s increasingly digital work environment, that benefit is impossible to underestimate.
Featuring the environment in which your teams will operate is, therefore, a crucial benefit, regardless of whether you offer permanent office space or co-working opportunities. That, in turn, leads to a natural follow-up: just how can you feature your space in a way that is both attractive and ‘snackable’ for potential employees and any other stakeholder to consume and understand?
Words won’t do it justice. Visuals are key, and ideally, those visuals are more than just static images. Fortunately, modern technology has made significant advances that allow you to showcase your space in a variety of ways. We’ve already mentioned a few of them above:
- Video tours through your office during a regular day that show not just the space, but the life that fills it.
- Virtual tours that highlight specific aspects and benefits of the space, even those not easily seen on a regular video.
- VR experiences that allow for a more immersive experience for your audiences, visualising themselves in the space as it exists in real life.
- Live feeds that offer a more authentic view into the space to intentionally take away some of the polish.
Each of these opportunities allows you to be thorough in showing off your space in a way that appeals to multiple audiences. You can even build customised experiences depending on the audience to ensure targeted, segmented communication.
Even as we move into a more distributed and remote workforce, physical office space matters. Perhaps it matters even more than before, now that companies and co-working spaces are in many ways competing on a daily basis for the attention and goodwill of the professionals who sit at the desks. The right showcase can make all the difference in maximizing your opportunities to gain that attention.
Contact us to learn about the various ways you can showcase your office space.