Does Your Workspace Say “Welcome”?
Workplace culture has moved front and center among the factors that candidates consider when deciding where they want to work. And so has workplace design. Combined, they say a lot about your firm and what it is like to work there day in and day out.
If a candidate were to take a walk through your firm, what would they see? Does the design support a variety of work activities, from quiet spaces for solitary heads-down work to dedicated team spaces to conference rooms equipped with the latest meeting and presentation technology? Would they see people freely conversing and socializing, energized and eager to share information and ideas? Would they meet a diverse group of employees, managers and executives?
While media stories may spotlight offices with lots of recreational spaces or living-room-like conference areas, what matters more to a candidate is whether they can see themselves fitting into the firm. Will it support their work style? Are there opportunities to contribute and to be mentored? Will they be able to exercise some measure of work/life balance? Does management appear to be fair and inclusive? Is this a firm with which they would be willing to stay for an extended period and in which they can advance their career?
A few years ago, candidates may have been willing to settle for a less-than-optimal fit. Today, they are paying more attention to such matters. It’s not only that labor markets are tightening. Employees’ values have shifted. They know what employers will demand of them, and they want to be in the best situation possible for a return on their efforts. Providing a welcoming environment gives your firm a leg up in attracting and retaining top talent. More importantly, it will allow employees to do their best work, making your firm more profitable and competitive.