Skip to main content
Feb 26, 2024 Truspace

Design That Boosts Your Bottom Line: The ROI of an Employee-Centered Workplace

At the heart of progressive and growth-driven companies are top-performing employees who are drawn to supportive environments where they are recognized, appreciated, and accommodated. These company's offices reflect employee-centric values for more than aesthetic reasons. Employee-centered workplace design yields a significant return on investment (ROI). 

For companies just considering the switch to more employee-centered design, understanding how to invest wisely and measure which business goals they are meeting is critical. Without this, companies could end up with an abundance of 'oohs and ahhs' over a beautiful new breakroom, but be unable to identify tangible outcomes. 

In this blog, we explore the benefits of employee-centered workplace design to equip you to optimize your office environment and drive overall success. 

The Direct Benefits of Employee-Centered Design

Enhanced Productivity

There isn't just one winner when you center employees in your workplace design—both the individuals at work and the company as a whole see a reduction in distractions and discomfort and an increase in focus and quality outputs. Providing meeting rooms that seamlessly connect in-person and digital participants and breakout pods that offer a quiet respite in busy offices are just a couple of options for fostering higher productivity levels. 

Improved Employee Well-being and Health

Creating comfort in your workplace might sound like a luxury when it's necessary for employee well-being and health. Reducing the physical stress that comes with hours of computer work, sitting, and screen use can have a long-lasting impact. Flexible, ergonomic seating and spaces that allow employees to move around can reduce chronic pain, alleviate feelings of isolation, and even help prevent work-related injuries. 

Increased Talent Attraction and Retention

Going into an office isn't the only way to work anymore. The rise of remote and hybrid opportunities means employees feel their options are more open. What sets one company apart from another? The way their workplaces feel. Companies need to give themselves a competitive edge to draw in and keep top talent, and employee-centered workplace design can be just that. 

Elevated Engagement and Morale

Bringing employees together through design results in a more cohesive workplace and inclusive company culture. Literally and figuratively, breaking down walls—or at least being able to move them—fosters rich collaboration and employee engagement. Open office common areas with strategically designed tables and seating can encourage employees to connect, socialize, and form relationships that permeate and transcend the workplace environment. Heightened morale translates into higher job satisfaction across the organization. 

The Financial Impact of Employee-Centered Design

The Hidden Costs of Traditional Office Designs

Comparing traditional office designs with employee-centered designs reveals the economic advantages of the latter. Traditional workplaces are associated with lower employee retention rates, higher recruitment expenses, and decreased profitability. By prioritizing employee well-being and engagement, businesses can avoid the pitfalls of traditional office design. 

Strategically Investing in Workplace Design

Companies must consider the nuances of their space and workforce with an expert to guide their design decisions. The most expensive part of workplace design is doing it wrong and needing to fix your mistakes later! A design partner will be able to make the most of your space, keep costs within budget, and project the upkeep costs you can anticipate. Short-term costs associated with workplace design include furniture, communal space amenities, modular partitions, and remodeling to varying degrees. Long-term costs include your wellness program or periodically updating technology integrated into hybrid meeting rooms.

Quantifying Your ROI

The World Green Building Council studied companies with green buildings, which incorporate employee-centered design elements such as better ventilation, more exposure to daylight, and innovative furniture. They found a 15% improvement in employee's self-reported overall health. In addition to the impact of well-being improvements, employees who look forward to being at work miss fewer days of work and are more attentive to their work regularly. Lower overall turnover rates are another benefit of an engaged workforce where employees feel connected to their colleagues and environment. 

Implementing Employee-Centered Design in the Workplace

Assessing Your Workplace Effectiveness

Observing your workforce's daily habits and analyzing performance metrics are great places to start assessing the effectiveness of your current workplace design. Look for ways your employees are already trying to modify their environment to make it work for them. How could you make their days more seamless? Where and when is productivity highest and lowest? What could design do for you here? 

A transition plan should include the phases of your redesign (tear down, clean out the old, build, bring in the new, etc.) so that you can determine how to keep your workforce moving forward while you make changes. Some redesigns are more extensive than others and require relocation or careful planning to perform the transitions during non-working hours.

Involving Employees in Your Planning Process

When gearing up to transition to more employee-centered design in your workplace, your employees are a goldmine of information! Gather feedback through surveys and in-person or digital forum conversations. Explore your employees' challenges and what creates unnecessary friction and inefficiency in their work days. Ask about the opportunities they would like and improvements they dream of. 

A comprehensive design plan should outline spatial use and flow, how workspace areas will be assigned/unassigned, what furniture you can repurpose from your current design, what new furniture needs to be purchased, and what internal and technical systems need to be put in place to make the most of your changes. 

Flexible and Scalable Solutions

As technology and employee needs evolve, workplaces will need to adapt continually. Long-lasting solutions that make the most sense to invest in will be flexible and can grow with your company. Modular furniture arrangements, adaptable workstations, and technology-enabled collaboration tools can future-proof your workplace environment and ensure continued relevance in a dynamic market landscape.

When it comes time to analyze your spending and investments for the year, workplace design might technically be an expense, yet smart companies see beyond this to their bottom line. As employees stay longer with your company and become more satisfied with their work—your company only benefits from improved productivity, engagement, and well-being. Centering your employees in their work environment is an investment in your most valuable asset, and tangible returns emerge daily, monthly, and yearly. Prioritize employee-centered design and unlock the full potential of your workforce.

We’re here to help. Contact one of our consultants today to get started developing your own workplace design experience.

Published by Truspace February 26, 2024