Location, location, location
The Covid pandemic has changed many people’s views on traditional working practices. Concepts such as 9 to 5 and a strict business dress code seems outdated, with agile working, wellbeing and work life balance now much higher on the priority list. But it’s important to note that few roles are solely based at home. Even for those that have embraced flexible working, there’s still a need for time in the office, entertaining clients or collaborating with colleagues.
So whilst the concept of the office is far from outdated, perceptions around how it fits with new ways of working have become more significant. When prospective employees are weighing up their career choices or considering a job move there will be a number of questions about time in the office, such as:
· Is it easy to get to?
· Are there plenty of facilities nearby including shops, pubs restaurants and green spaces?
· What are the transport links like?
· What’s the environment like?
It may not come as a surprise that location matters as much todayas ever before, if not more. And getting your office space right and makingsure that the environment supports your employee’s lifestyle demands can play asubstantial role in helping you attract the best people. It can also helpsmaller and growing companies to compete with corporates.
Does your office reflect your business?
What does your office say about you company and ethos? Does it accurately reflect the company’s values, ambition and direction? As any good chef will tell you, the first bite is with the eye and candidates arriving for an interview will make an initial assessment of your company based on the building they visit, perhaps as much as the pre-meet communications and the interview itself.
A neglected or cluttered entrance can imply a lack of care or, in a shared space, that it’s someone else’s problem – which could be seen as a metaphor for a culture of buck passing or poor customer service. Cramped conditions, lack of room and every ounce of floorspace in use with storage or obsolete IT, screams lack of investment and no growth ambition. No breakout areas, or a shortage of meeting spaces which support collaborative working, may feel overly conventional and old fashioned.
If you’re a professional firm, your office needs to demonstrate that quality from the outset. We may be biased, given The Blade is such an iconic building, but it’s not all about the image. It’s about portraying a strong corporate view that reinforces a professional persona. Is there a vision associated to choosing a particular office space? Does the office tell a story of growth or sell the idea of expansion plans suggesting ambition and opportunity?
We know through feedback from our occupiers that the subject of offering an enviable place to work seems to have shot up the agenda in recent times, and it’s definitely part of the thought process when candidates are evaluating their next role. Once prospective new team members have understood the job offer and that some degree of working time is going to be office based, you can be sure there will be a host of questions about the suitability of your space and whether it works for them. Don’t underestimate the power that the ability to pop out and get lunch, do a bit of shopping, or grab a good coffee can have. Today, of course, there may be other considerations including whether it’s possible to go for a walk at lunch, get in those daily steps, charge the car or store a bike.
So even if your job offer and benefits package may impress, employers shouldn’t underestimate the impact that the right office can have!