With a change in the workforce also comes a change in the way companies approach designing their own spaces. A number of cable’s best have called on Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) to revamp their buildings in order to attract and retain top talent while maximizing the potential of their real estate.
“The employees who are out there looking and interviewing are weighing not only compensation packages, but they are weighing their work environment,” principal Rick Burkett says.
And it doesn’t take long for those potential employees to make a judgment call on whether a workspace is right for them. EUA found that it only takes seven seconds for a candidate or new hire to make a first impression about a potential employer. He has especially seen that in Millennials, who tie much of their personal self-worth with the work that they do, the company for whom they choose to work and the space they have to work within.
Companies are responding by opening up their floor plans and creating what principal Kitty Yuen calls “we spaces” and “me spaces.” While a cubicle or desk may have the best lighting or additional space for an extra monitor, moving to a different environment partway through the day may boost the productivity of some employees.
“The most important thing for attracting and retaining employees is an engaged work environment,” Yuen says. “An engaged work environment means that they have all the choices they need to do their jobs the way they want to do their jobs… we need to leave ourselves enough room and flexibility to have them choose the places where they want to meet.”
EUA has also seen a number of its clients move to take leadership out of the private offices they would traditionally occupy. In order to still recognize that person’s seniority and service to the company, EUA has placed those people closer to windows or chosen to expand their workstations to allow for more private conversations with employees.
There’s also been a change in expectation over time as to what amenities a workplace should be offering to its employees. Offering a gym or coffee station for employees may have been a major draw for talent a decade ago, but it is becoming increasingly standard issue for that to be a part of any company’s environment.
Wanting to stand out, EUA’s cable and technology clients have begun wanting to build out a variety of lab spaces. Those innovation hubs are designed to give teams an additional space to dive into projects and brainstorm new ideas. Additional demonstration rooms to show off the latest and greatest the company has to offer have also been in high demand.
“That’s a good sales tool because it’s part of their client tour and the potential employee tour too as they take them through these spaces,” Yuen says. “These companies are looking for differentiators to help them stand out among the other competitors, and having a well-designed space is one of those things.”
– Sara Winegardner