It's July 2019, and while we've just passed the halfway mark on the calendar year, we've only just begun the start of a new fiscal year. For many, it means an opportunity to reflect on what HAS worked, IS working, and what changes can be implemented in the year to come to continue evolving with momentous success.
After reading up on global office trends around the world, there is ONE key take-away for us that shines through: in order to continually survive as a business; we must first help our own to thrive.
"In order to continually survive as a business; we must first help our own to thrive."
And you thought this was just going to be another post about office furniture!
Ready to have your mind blown? Here's the list:
Years passed, offices would be designed based on the space available, what features were new and intersting to instigate, how many cubicles/desks could fit into an area and how pretty your reception area would be to entice new clients. The (now trending) use of Psychographics is a qualitative methodology used to describe consumers and employees psychological attributes. In short, it's studying your employees and potential customers behaviours, personalities, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles, and utilising that information to create a suitable environment where they can thrive.
Examples for the office: Free wifi in waiting rooms and coffee shops, co-working pop-up spaces, video conferencing, ergonomic furniture to support back pains and strains, multi-faceted monitor arms for multi-taskers, breakout spaces, quiet rooms/booth/spaces, biophilic landscapes, the addition of gyms, meditation or yoga rooms, LED lighting - the list goes on.
As technology continually evolves, people are becoming more agitated, anxious and stressed in a society that seemingly never switches off.
There is pressure to keep abreast on topics that are trending, social media, news, achieving more, keeping physically fit, meditation and mindfulness, completing university degrees, and getting relentless promotions as you climb the corporate ladder.
But whatever happened to meaningful relationships?
As a society, we have introverted significantly from talking to our neighbours, friends and families, and become a adjusted to looking to our screens for comfort and comparison resulting in a national epidemic of loneliness.
Community connection has proven to boost morale within the office, and those with a 'best friend' at work or whom believe in the benefit as working as a team, result in higher success and achievements in business.
Examples for the office: Lunchtime group fitness classes, social groups, team lunches, take-away-day, breakout spaces, enforcing lunch breaks away from the desk, screen-time breaks, awards nights, team challenges, mobile phone bans in working hours, walking-meetings, face-to-face conversations, community outreach programs, talking vs. emailing, supporting local designers and chefs.
We talked earlier in the year about 'WELL certification', and now it seems that more companies than not, are fighting to have the global 'green standard' of an office environment to nurture employees and boost their ability to thrive. According to buildings.com, it has become CRITICAL to embrace recyclable, renewable and low-waste building materials and systems that ultimately won't impact residents health. The idea is that we need to start taking more drastic steps to not only ensure our employees health now, but well into the future of our generations to come.
Examples for the office: Recycling bins, composting bins, switching to LED lights, implementing water saving strategies, low impact cleaning products, using high quality filtration systems to purify the air, reducing landfill, encouraging recyclable food products and associated materials in the cafeteria, discounts for reusable coffee cups, and applying for 'WELL certification' as a building standard.
A given from us here at Balance Commercial, but still a topic that needs to be embraced by many companies across Australia and the world! When we empower our employees to live with the goal of physical and mental health, and offer support to get there; we are all winners.
Examples in the office: encouraging movement, sit-to-stand desks, forging social connections, offering group fitness/yoga/meditation in the workplace, gym and health insurance discounts, healthy snack boxes, insisting on lunch breaks away from the desk, volunteering programmes, allow 'work from home' days, rewards in the form of 'breaks' vs. financial and mental health days.
As mentioned above, the more relient we become on technology, the more our seemingly outdated social experiences lack, and the shift of 'we' turns into a world of 'I'.
Sadly, as social media continues to play a huge part on our daily lives, we got lost in a world of wishing we were or had something better than we already are. One of the greatest ways to encourage 'authenticity' in this copycat day and age, is to given employees an environment where their strengths are celebrated, their work is congratulated and their creativity can be harnessed.
Examples in the office: character rich elements with the office design, emphasis on relationship building, looking people in the eye when they speak, practicing our listening skills (2 ears, 1 mouth), understanding employee goals, weekly meetings that include everyone in the business, commissioning local artists for office walls and utilising B2B relationships to work both ways.
Have a great week, and remember to support internally, to be rewarded externally.
Wishes in wellness,
The Balance Team
Phone: (03) 9761 4555
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