It isn’t just office space, it is a part of the employee experience

A great employee experience can be intentionally designed—just like the experience you design for your customers. This trend, called Employee Experience Design (EED), is a new way to think about the office.

In the competitive environment of employee retention, companies must make an investment to create an office environment that keeps their employees happy and engaged. Although the concept of Employee Experience Design has been considered as far back as 2012, it has become a major trend for 2016. Cutting edge companies, like Airbnb, have designated whole teams to creating the Employee Experience.

Your Employee’s Physical Experience

The best-designed employee experiences are memorable, create an emotional reaction, encourage loyalty and pride in the company, and make employees excited to show up for work. While much of this is cultural, the physical design is critical too.

“In software you iterate, make changes, upgrade, and evolve. The physical space needs to be thought of in the same way.” – Jacob Morgan

The trend is to have multiple means of getting work done as opposed to dictating one style of physical space. Some ways to change up your physical space are rotating floor plans, coffee shop atmospheres, and modern break rooms. Another way to motivate your employees is by having a gym or physical fitness classes on the premises. As employee wellness is not a fad, the way that your employees feel about their work environment is a big part of their sense of well being.

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A recent report from commercial real estate company CBRE found that U.S. office investment is at a 7-year high, hitting $119 billion (source: Forbes). With so many companies investing in their workspace, it is wise to stay on top of this trend. Even small changes can have a big impact on morale and loyalty, but you can’t wait for it to just happen. You need to take an active role in designing your employee experience before employee engagement is compromised. When you engage your employees and include them in designing their physical space, you will see a positive impact on the culture of your company.

It’s All About Choice

In their latest US Workplace Survey, Gensler discovered a key finding that choice drives performance and innovation for employees. Specifically, “Employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work are seen as more innovative and have higher performing employees.” Employers who make a concerted effort to design their employees’ experience have seen a direct and positive impact on their engagement, productivity, and loyalty. Once you determine what motivates your employees, you can then look at solutions for how to implement the changes and fresh perspective. Whether your changes are small-scale or major, your success depends on how you implement your new vision.