6 Ways to Improve Your Workplace Experience in 2023
Employees are looking for a great workplace experience. But does your business provide one? Let’s look at how you can implement a workplace experience strategy to help grow your business.
4.25 million people in the US quit their jobs in January 2022 – an increase of 3.3 million from the previous year. We’ll soon find out what January 2023 has in store, but it’s clear that the Great Resignation is far from over.
Remember when job hopping was taboo? Well, it’s not anymore. Employees simply aren’t willing to put up with a sub-par workplace. This is making it difficult for many organizations to hold onto highly skilled staff. It’s also leading some to look more closely at their workplace experience — and how it can be used for staff retention.
This is definitely a wise move. As we’ll see a little later, a good workplace experience positively impacts recruitment and retention. But the benefits don’t end there.
Building a positive workplace experience into a wider workplace strategy and company culture can help you drive revenue and cut costs in a number of key areas.
What is workplace experience?
A workplace experience creates the ideal work environment for employees, with the aim of improving business outcomes.
An employee’s workplace experience is determined by three different components:
This is the office layout, the office furniture, and the physical resources you have available to employees.
How we use the physical office space in a hybrid work world is shifting. So currently, part of a workplace experience manager’s job is adapting the physical space to the demands of the modern workplace.
The digital work environment is another element of workplace experience. And with some team members working partially or exclusively from home, this digital environment has become just as important as the physical one.
With the help of effective, easy-to-use technology, employees should get the same workplace experience whether they’re working remotely or in the office.
People, communication, and company policies all affect an employee’s workplace experience. Another important factor to consider is how people are supported when using the physical and digital spaces available to them.
You may hear some businesses using the terms workplace experience and employee experience interchangeably. But the two terms are actually a little different. Workplace experience is more focused on how a workplace’s physical and digital reality impacts how an employee feels about working there. And it forms part of the overall employee experience.
The importance of workplace experience
So why should you care about your employees’ workplace experience? A good workplace experience has an effect far beyond employee well-being (although that’s a pretty admirable aim in itself!)
Workplace experience impacts a variety of different business objectives, and it has the potential to improve all of the following:
Employee experience and satisfaction
When employees don’t have a comfortable work environment and don’t have the tools and resources they need to get a job done, they feel frustrated, which impacts their satisfaction levels.
Studies show that employee unhappiness has a ripple effect throughout the whole workforce.
Improving the workplace experience can help you to get on top of dissatisfaction and employee complaints before they become bigger problems.
When employees feel supported by their physical and digital office and company culture, fewer obstacles stand in the way of their day-to-day work. Whether at home or in the office, they have everything they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
But all work and no play can leave people feeling burned out and less productive in the long run. So a positive workplace experience also acknowledges the need for breaks and fun.
This is why some offices have incorporated informal coffee shop areas for relaxed socializing and games like ping-pong into the workplace.
Talent retention and attraction
Why would employees look for another job when they feel happy and productive and work in a space that supports their well-being?
A focus on workplace experience can help to improve employee retention. It can also give your talent acquisition efforts a boost.
- Happy employees are more likely to sing your praises on employer review sites
- Workplace experience contributes to a positive employer brand
- You have a vibrant, welcoming office space that you can showcase to candidates
- You attract diverse talent because you provide a wider variety of work environments
Efficient use of office space
Office overheads are a huge outgoing cost, so any way to reduce them is welcome. A workplace experience strategy can help you lower costs and use your space more efficiently.
By examining the workplace experience, you analyze how employees use the physical office spaces available to them. You can then find ways to maximize the value of that space and potentially use less space too.
Better business growth
All of the benefits listed above combine to create a positive company culture where employees feel actively engaged in their work.
This translates into better business growth because:
- Happy workers are more productive
- Companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profits
- Organizations with a highly connected workforce are more likely to minimize customer costs and meet financial targets
6 ways to improve your workplace experience
- Talk to employees
Hybrid workers come into the office for a variety of different reasons. Some are seeking a quiet retreat away from their noisy kitchen table while others want face-to-face communication in collaborative workspaces.
But what do your employees want from a workspace experience?
You have to ask them to find out. Employees should always be your first point of call when you’re planning to make workplace changes.
They can identify friction points in the physical and digital workspaces and suggest improvements. This provides an excellent foundation for your workplace experience plans.
- Plan your office layout and design
Whether your employees are in the office every day or only sporadically, office layout greatly impacts their workspace experience.
It may not be something you’ve considered in great depth, but it’s worth taking the time to really understand whether your office layout is currently working for your employees.
Think about whether your office is conducive to a variety of workplace activities, such as:
- Quiet, concentrated work
- Creative collaboration
- Informal meetings
- Formal meetings
- Private client calls
- Break time and recreation
Ideally, your office layout should provide comfortable spaces for all of these activities.
If your office layout is falling short, there are many ways you can adapt it to suit the needs of the modern workplace.
You can implement flexible office space or activity-based working, incorporate office pods, install a coffee shop area for informal get-togethers, or use adaptable office furniture so spaces can fulfill more than one function.
The founding principles? Office space planning should reflect and support your company culture and provide a variety of spaces to suit employees with different needs.
- Adopt a hospitality mindset for your offices
Today’s employees have lots of choice. And they aren’t going to stick with a company that doesn’t take care of their comfort and well-being. That’s why some facilities managers are choosing to treat employees like a hotel would treat their customers.
This hospitality mindset helps ensure employees get an enhanced workplace experience, not just the bare minimum. Some big corporations are taking this concept to the next level, providing on-site fitness classes and spa facilities.
But you don’t have to max out the budget to make employees feel cared for. Ensuring that you’re always ticking the basics is a great place to start.
You should try to provide:
- Clean and well-lit workspaces
- An ergonomic desk space, with a standing desk if requested
- A kitchen stocked with tea, coffee, and maybe a few healthy snacks
- A well-maintained office space
And if you can do more to increase employee comfort and enjoyment in the workplace, you’ll find that it’s well worth the investment.
- Implement the right technology
Flexible work is a top priority for many employees. And to achieve a flexible work environment that meets employee requirements, you need the right tech solutions.
Your teams need the right communication, collaboration, and project management software to stay connected wherever they happen to be working.
But the digital workplace experience has to go further than that. You need up-to-date, easy-to-use AV equipment and smart conference room tech, so hybrid meetings are just as effective as the traditional face-to-face alternative.
You also need software that supports other hybrid office functions like hot desking, office hoteling, and visitor management.
Employees with access to various effective tech tools experience fewer pain points in their hybrid workday. This means less wasted time and a happier, more productive workforce.
- Hire a workplace experience manager
If managing the workplace experience on top of your teams’ existing responsibilities sounds like too much of an ask, consider hiring a dedicated workplace experience manager.
Another salary is a big commitment, but you may find that improved workplace experience helps you drive revenue and lower costs in other areas.
For example, good workplace experience can:
- Reduce your recruitment costs because employees are more likely to stick around
- Improve your sales because happy employees are more engaged with their work
- Improve productivity because employees are less likely to take time off sick
You also have someone who can drive workplace experience across your organization, linking facilities, IT, and HR teams to make your efforts a lot more effective.
- Set goals and measure KPIs
How do you know if your workplace experience investment is paying off?
Whether you hire a workplace experience manager or are simply increasing your budget for new office design or workplace tech, you need a way to judge the success of your efforts.
To do this, you can look at several different metrics.
- Employee satisfaction scores
- Employee productivity
- Employee retention rate
- Employee wellness
- Employee absenteeism
- Internal promotions and job acceptances
- Customer satisfaction
By regularly surveying your employees and tracking the other stats you have available to you, you can set goals, measure progress, and find new ways to improve.
Smartway2 is the starting point for great workplace experience
Smartway2’s scheduling software makes desk and room booking easy and intuitive. This helps your employees enjoy their workplace experience and do their best work.
Want to find out more? Request a demo to see what Smartway2 can do for your workplace experience strategy.