What makes up a modern workplace, and what role does it play in staff retention?

At a time when satisfying the demands of employees has never been more essential to talent retention, it might be worth considering how your workplace stacks up. Does your office keep your key people engaged and motivated? Is it conducive to creativity? Do your employees look forward to spending a large portion of their week within its walls? Or does it represent drudgery and tedium? Does it keep your brightest talent satisfied and stimulated, or are they shopping around for something closer resembling Google HQ or the likes of an Atlassian hybrid/remote working model?  

The Modern Workplace vs Ordinary Corporate Office 

It’s fair to say that the tech titans have re-imagined the traditional office by embracing the modern workplace. These international organisations have stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting brilliant minds and staff retention and they set a benchmark that all Aussie companies should aspire to meet. They have moved beyond the typical ordinary corporate office. In contrast, organisations that have been slow to adapt to the modern workplace setting have their staff sitting in stale life-less cubicles within uninspiring architecture, expected to generate million-dollar business ideas! They are most likely at risk of looming resignations. 

  • Google/Alphabet 
    Silicon Valley employees at Google/Alphabet are spoilt with gym access, yoga and meditation classes, chill-out rooms, pinball machines and ping pong tables, an array of in-house dining and coffee options, meeting rooms of all sizes, swimming pools, beach volleyball courts, complimentary shuttle buses equipped with Wi-Fi, personalised pods, the latest gadgetry, and grassy outdoor areas to explored on free bicycles.  
  • Microsoft 
    Like Google/Alphabet, Microsoft also believes in modern workplaces. The company recently released a video of its HQ that appears to be set sometime in the future. Building a community hub and focusing on creating a workplace that allows their employees to collaborate and engage (online or offline) is one of the main reasons these organisations succeed in generating efficiency, productivity, and performance from their staff. 

Tangible Workplace Improvements 

We get it. Not every employer can deliver the sweeping magnitude of employee satisfaction options enjoyed in parts of California. However, where your organisation lacks in technology, we can confidently say Spirit can equip you with the right gear – because when it comes to upgrading your ordinary workplace to a modern workplace, we know our stuff!  

1. Hybrid/flexible working arrangement 
When it comes to flexible working, the Australian tech giant Atlassian leads the way allowing all employees the option to work from home. Productivity at this software success story remains sky high, and management is committed to keeping their employees happy. With the right tech setup, you too could offer your staff hybrid working arrangements combining days in the office and at home. 

2. Upgrading your technology setup 
Be honest here, how modern is your current workplace? Are your staff equipped with the most effective hardware and software options that allow them to collaborate seamlessly? There’s no reason why you should put up with obsolete technology if you value productivity, creativity and efficiency – it’s time to upgrade that outdated laptop and give your staff the best tech gear. Everyone’s a winner in the long run! 

3. Tiny changes = huge impact 
Outside the usual expectation of access to a good local coffee shop, public transport, parking spaces or boxes of fresh fruit every week – does your organisation provide its employees with adjustable stand-up desks, comfortable chairs, noise cancellation headsets or the latest mobile phone? Small upgrades can spur motivation, improve staff retention, and prevent your best people from sharpening their LinkedIn profiles while you are not looking. 

The Future of the Employment Contract  

The impact of the Great Resignation will reverberate for years to come. The pendulum has swung in the employee’s favour, and effective talent retention may ultimately separate the business winners from the losers. A smart business operator knows they are only as good as the collective aggregate of their workforce. High achieving, long-term staff members will become increasingly difficult to replace.  

So… it’s time to invest in keeping your people happy. Put them to work in a modern space that is motivating and inspiring. Pay attention to the details and address or upgrade any points of weakness. Don’t give your staff reasons to take their invaluable experience and expertise elsewhere. Your business survival may just depend on it.

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