What do your people want from their workplace?
Today's workplace design projects are primarily conceived around people, their behaviors and aspirations. The definition of a workplace strategy must aim to support the "employee experience", working on the personal history and feelings of each individual. It's all about motivating, bonding, stimulating creativity, arousing curiosity, reinforcing commitment and the desire to get involved.
October 31, 2023 7 Minute
Embracing a corporate culture
The workplace is the main tangible link between a company and its employees. The interest shown in it reflects the attention devoted to its occupants. It is a place where teams can unite around shared values. As such, it is also a lever for attracting employees. It serves as the beating heart of your company.
Designing a work environment is first and foremost about making it efficient. It must first and foremost provide a pragmatic response to the tasks and actions to be carried out. The functions available within it are immediate responses to actual needs. However, when it comes to planning future workspaces, it would be a mistake to limit considerations to a functional analysis only, at the risk of missing out on key issues.
We need to move away from an overly Cartesian approach and embrace the realm of the sensory. After all, shouldn't the workplace be a place in which everyone can project their aspirations? Beyond that, it is also a crossroads where people work together and socialize. It is a real living space, where codes mingle, where people feel at ease. At a time when, more than ever, companies are being asked to "care about their team, their community", isn't it important to integrate all these issues into their reflections about the workplace?
Contemporary, dynamic, attractively designed, the fitout needs to stimulate the senses and foster a sense of connection. These days, social contact has become one of the main reasons why employees come to work. This is why we need to encourage serendipity, in other words, cultivate the art of "bumping into people". Random encounters in well-designed work environments can give rise to great ideas.
Let's offer the users of these living spaces, open to the outside world and integrated into a wider ecosystem, the full structural, cultural and relational palette they need to blossom fully and wear their group's colors proudly. By working on these tangible elements, which contribute to the entity's uniqueness, we can begin to instill a sense of belonging to the same community.
The right technology
Creating living spaces, imagining a multiplicity of agile public & private spaces is a priority challenge in a context where space optimization motivates the replacement of partitioned offices and classic workspaces by shared spaces. We also need to be aware that more than half of all meetings today are held by video. They involve a hybrid community. The deployment of appropriate technology is essential to ensure that an optimal link is maintained between on-site and remote employees.
Common sustainable aspirations
How can we gauge the fit between companies' ESG positioning and their determination to give themselves the means to achieve their ambitions?
In its own way, CBRE has made environmental issues a priority. If we wish to contribute to the development of sustainable and responsible workplaces, our support must first and foremost reflect our customers' sustainable strategy.
In this respect, regulations and various certifications help to guide and structure certain approaches, but it is primarily our customer's commitment to sustainable development that will help to position the cursor and define the means to be implemented to achieve the ambitions expressed.
Several aspects can be considered in order to match the company's ESG ambitions with the workplace, the first indicator of the resources it deploys in this area:
- Choice of materials: production, life cycle, transport, installation
- Identification of priorities: well-being, commitment, certification or not
- Corporate image, corporate message, action plan
Beyond these elements, budget and planning will often influence the implementation (or not) of the tools needed to achieve the identified ambitions.
Sustainability in every dimension
Today's companies can no longer afford not to think about sustainability issues when it comes to designing their workplaces. Environmental issues are on the minds of employees and job applicants alike. Taking them into account, and seeking to minimize the environmental footprint of the workplace, is an important lever of attractiveness, and helps to improve the company's image. Technology, the choice of materials, the establishment of a resource recycling chain, circular economy practices... There are many levers that can be taken into account in this respect.
It would be a mistake, however, to restrict sustainability to environmental issues alone. After all, sustainability has three dimensions: environmental, economic and social.
Isn't the whole point today to consider sustainability in its entirety? Sustainability must be at the heart of all our thinking, to contribute to sustainable spaces, sustainable fitouts, but above all to promote a corporate culture and social ties that are equally sustainable.