From Google’s in-house slide to the Pinterest pix&mix shop; luxury workplaces are becoming a norm. But the question begs, are these luxury spaces making us more productive?
Or are they gimmicks to attract talent, and make it ‘feel’ like we’re working somewhere cool and quirky?
Offices once consisted of a desk, a chair, a computer, and a coffee machine if you were lucky. Yet now, thanks to large organisations around the globe, we are seeing a rise in luxury workplaces that look like adult playgrounds.
Gone are the days of grey walls, whiteboards and silence. Instead, there are large bursts of colour and comfortable break-out areas that could make any coffee shop look bland.
Some of the world’s most prestigious businesses have garnered a wave of media attention due to their luxury workplaces. Google and Facebook, to name a few. Which means many competitors are left looking outdated.
But as a business, does the investment in these luxury additions enhance productivity?
There is no denying that a positive work environment has an impact on employee happiness. Those who are happier are more productive, and workspaces have a direct effect on both these areas.
In a study by Wellness Together, 48% of employees say their workplace design has a notable impact on whether to stay with an employer.
Workspace is not just a benefit for employees; it makes commercial sense in order to recruit and retain talent.
Researchers at the University of Warwick have also discovered a link between employee satisfaction and engagement. In particular, they observed Google. During their research, they found productivity increased by 12% when employees were satisfied.
Gallup has also polled organisations over the past two decades and continues to show that engaged people are on average 18% more productive.
It truly pays to make people happy at work.
The fact is, there’s nothing new about the impact of workspace on employee wellbeing. Studies and research continue to reveal how everything from artwork to light can boost productivity. But what we want to know is, are these luxury workspaces worth it?
In a survey by Perkbox, 47% of Millennials listed access to training and learning as a priority perk. Through the survey, they also admitted to finding ‘fun’ perks often embarrassing.
This shows that there is a mismatch between those designing luxury workspaces and the real needs of employees.
It can be easy to get swept away with the latest office fads and wellness trends. But any addition to the workspace ultimately needs to benefit the employee. They have to see the benefit and feel like it will support them in their work.
Investing in luxury workspaces is not a cheap affair. Installing nap pods, for example, can cost up to $13,000, and a standing desk can set you back $1,500.
If you’re going to invest in any addition to your workspace, you want to know if it’s going to be used and be of a great benefit to your employees.
When constructed well, a luxury workspace can provide a big return for organisations.
Research shows that organisations with healthy and productive employees have an 8% higher profit margin.
Healthy and positive workspaces do promote productivity, but there is nothing to say that your additions have to be luxury to make an impact.
Even right down to the basics, of natural lighting, comfortable spaces, and access to eating facilities can all support people in being more productive at work.