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    New office, new you

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    With the market more competitive than ever before, should employers look at changing the office every five years to retain their talent and attract new employees?

    Not so long ago, the majority of businesses would change their office every ten years or so – either by relocating or refurbishing. However, with both technological advances and employee expectations changing at an unformidable rate, could leaving it ten years to resurrect your office mean you find yourself losing your best staff and clients?

    “Businesses are constantly getting better at creating adaptable work environments, so they don’t fall behind,” said Nick Pollitt, managing director at Diamond Interiors. “That means businesses that don’t keep up risk losing their best employees and clients to companies that prioritise creating an environment that meets their team’s current needs.”

    With that in mind, Pollitt gives us some reasons why you should change your office as regularly as every five years:

    Adapt to how people want to work

    Flexible working is about more than just working your own hours — it’s also about how you work when you’re at the office. By creating an environment that nurtures a flexible approach to work, you create a more responsive and engaged team that can escape the shackles of their desk to be more creative. A study by the Instant Group and HLW found that 71 per cent of users agreed that flexible workspaces had a positive effect on how they engage with work.

    You can create a flexible workspace by providing a diverse range of spaces in your office. If you have an open plan office, make sure there are private areas where employees can get some headspace to focus on a task. Things like sofas and standing desks provide new options to your employees when they want to switch up their environment to match their needs.

    Boost staff performance

    Creating the right working environment is more than just a ‘nice to have’. In fact, certain changes can have dramatic effects on staff performance.

    • Staff in well-ventilated offices can show a 101 per cent increase in cognitive scores compared to workers in poorly ventilated offices.
    • Distracting noise resulting from poor office acoustics contribute to a 66 per cent fall in staff performance.
    • Workers whose desks are near windows get an additional 46 minutes of sleep every night on average.

    If your space isn’t optimised with natural light, fresh air and measures that reduce distracting noise, you’re hampering your team’s ability to succeed.

    Investing into a refurbishment of your space to meet these requirements or even relocating to somewhere that can cater for your needs will show tangible returns when it comes to staff performance.

    Make staff happier

    Few things are more costly to a business than losing a great employee. Studies show that it’s now a happy workplace rather than a salary increase that will draw your best workers away. A survey from Fidelity revealed that millennials were willing to give up as much as £6,000 if it meant they could be happier at work.

    With this in mind, businesses need to work harder than ever to create happy work environments to retain top talent.

    One of the best ways to do that? Changing the work environment. A TRCA study showed that a new work environment can lead to a staggering 170 per cent increase in employee satisfaction. That being the case, a fresh lick of paint or an office restructure could do wonders for your team morale.

    Relocating can have an even bigger effect. Easy access to amenities is a significant contributor to staff happiness levels according to a study by KPMG: moving your office to a more populous area with shops, restaurants and plenty of commuting options gives your staff an excuse to get out of the office at lunchtime and come back to work feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle tasks in the afternoon.

    Send the right message to your clients

    When a client sees your office for the first time, they’ll form an opinion about your business. Whether that impression is good or bad is within your control, so you should work hard to get it right. But what about those clients that have been with you for a year? Two years? Five? That same reception area that they see month-on-month gradually signals a different message: “We haven’t progressed.”

    When clients see a new environment, though, they see a business that is developing. It’s the perfect visual cue to help start that conversation about how you can do something new for them, whether that’s increasing a contract or getting buy-in for a bold new strategy.

    Regularly updating your office tells your clients that you’re constantly moving forward – that you refuse simply to settle for where you already are.

    Take control of your environment

    It might be common knowledge that we are products of our environment but for those who want to succeed, being in control of that environment is key.

    Have you found regularly changing work environments good to work in? Or have you found them a distraction? Contact us on Twitter to have your say: @PALifeMag

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    Vincenzo Ferrara

    Vinny Ferrara, Staff Writer for PA Life

    All stories by: Vincenzo Ferrara