Community News and Insights

Community News and Insights

How Your Office Space Can Affect Company Culture

Sacha R - Friday, February 21, 2020

Company culture office design

Did you know that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success? One of the biggest contributors to workplace culture is the office space. Office space can make or break a company and effects employee productivity, wellbeing, morale, and happiness. That’s lot of power for something many business owners consider an afterthought.

Here’s how office space can affect company culture and enable employers to build long term relationships with their employees.

Build a Culture of Inclusivity

In just a few years Millennials will make up a majority of the workforce. Organizations must change their office space and culture to accommodate the generation or risk poor employee retention and relationships.

One element of company culture that Millennials seek out is inclusivity. This is encouraged with open office plans, designated spaces for collaboration, and open-door policies.

Hotdesking is also becoming popular, making it easier for employees to work closely with a range of people rather than always sitting at the same desk. People are encouraged to move from desk to desk, getting to know their colleagues.

Break rooms and fun amenities like ping pong tables and comfortable lounge areas are also on the rise and are appealing to millennials. They encourage team bonding and make it easier for employees to interact with each other. In an office full of cubicles, it’s highly unlikely that people will interact or get to know one another.

Consider the Décor

We don’t decorate our homes with white walls, dull carpeting, and generic motivational posters, so why should an office be decorated that way? With a third of a person’s life spent at work, the environment should be comfortable as well as one that sparks creativity.

Color is an important tool as it can impact concentration as well as creativity. Shades of blue and green increase productivity, communication, and creativity, while yellow encourages happiness. Complete you space with intriguing artwork and dynamic furniture for a truly creative atmosphere.

Health and Wellbeing

A well-designed office is also beneficial for employee health and wellbeing. Natural light, greenery, ergonomic furniture, and outdoor work spaces all have a positive effect on employee mood. In fact, plants in offices can reduce stress, increase productivity, and even bring down sickness and absence rates.

93% of workers in the tech industry said they would stay longer at a company that offered healthier workplace benefits. While this does include benefits such as gym memberships and healthy snacks, it also includes the workplace environment.

Improve the health and welling being of your office with standing desks, meetings that take place while going on a walk, and offering yoga once a week to anyone who would like to participate. These types of benefits make employees feel cared about and like their employer is looking out for them.

Even with so much time spent at work, many employees indicate that more can be done to make their workplace better. With countless benefits of thoughtful office design, it’s time for company owners to make a change. When a company’s culture fosters inclusivity and wellbeing, the business will reap the rewards!

 

The Future of Office Design

Sacha R - Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Future Office Designs

Office design has come a long way in the past decade or so. Gone (for the most part) are the rows of cramped desks where all you can hear is the sound of typing. Even cubicles have gone by the wayside in exchange for more open office plans that encourage collaboration and communication. However, as we head into a new decade office design is continuing to evolve. Activity-based working spaces are becoming popular and open offices are not as wonderful as they once seemed.

So, when you close your eyes and picture what your office looks like in 5 years, what do you see? Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

Different Office Designs for Different Tasks

As mentioned, open office plans are not as popular as they once were. Office space design has to balance two things, the productivity of staff and whether it’s fit for purpose. Many people who work in an open office have reported that they aren’t as productive compared to if they had a private space to work.

This common finding has lead business owners and office space designers to rethink the modern office layout. Recent trends are geared toward being a place of socialization rather than a place to work, and, as a result, employee productivity is suffering.

To combat this, many modern companies are now creating spaces within the office for different activities. Each employee may have their own office but can easily move to a room with a whiteboard to work on a team project or head to the lounge to relax and eat lunch. There may be private “phone booths” for people to make calls in while the rest of the office is open and features tables for people to work at.

The objective is to provide employees with different spaces to be productive depending on the task.

The Future of Design

There’s no way to predict the future, but after evaluating current social trends, issues, and advancements in technology, we can take a guess as to what office design in the near future may look like.

Sustainability Efforts

Millennials and members of the Gen Z generation who are beginning to enter the workforce value sustainability. If they’re forced to pick between two companies to work for, they’re more likely to pick the one that makes more of an effort to be sustainable. Sustainable materials and energy from solar panels are just two of the many way’s companies can start to be more environmentally friendly.

Customizable Office Spaces

Beyond designing spaces for different types of work, creating customizable office spaces is a growing trend. Modular furniture, walls that double as whiteboards, and walls that can be slid in one way or another all promote flexibility and productivity.

Windows for Walls

Everyone likes more windows! Natural light increases productivity and a person’s happiness. Office designs are featuring larger windows and more of them! They’re also incorporating outdoor workspaces so meetings can happen outside in the fresh air. Dark and stuffy offices are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Finding a New Commercial Office Space

Do you feel inspired to create a more modern office design? Our commercial buildings are "A" rated and offices can be altered and/or built to meet the needs of your business! Whether you want an open plan, individual offices, or something in between, we can make it happen. Browse through our available properties today and contact us to schedule a tour!

How to Successfully Implement a Workplace Wellbeing Program

Sacha R - Tuesday, January 07, 2020

workplace wellbeing

Prolonged time spent sitting in an office environment has proven to have serious negative side effects on workers. Permanently bent backs from hunching over a computer all day, swollen eyes, poor blood flow, and weak muscles are just a few of the health concerns from being exposed to an office environment for many years. Even more concerning is the increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, heart disease, and more.

Author and futurist William Higham says, “Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick.”

Thankfully, many employers are starting to take the initiative and make those radical changes.

What is Wellbeing?

Many workers are becoming more conscious of what working in an office can do to their health. As a result, companies that make employee health and wellbeing a priority are more attractive to applicants and have better employee retention. Employee wellbeing is linked to employee engagement and productivity, and an organization only becomes stronger with better engagement.

So what is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is about how your job, which includes responsibilities, expectations, stress level, and environment, affects your overall health and happiness.

While wellbeing is certainly about exercise and nutrition, it’s also about mood and cognition. It’s about understanding your employees from a holistic perspective, taking into account the totality of their lives, and considering their overall quality of life.

Implementing a Workplace Wellbeing Program

The first step to successfully implementing a workplace wellbeing program is to nominate a leader. If too many people try to run the show the program might never see the light of day. Choose one or two people from the HR department to spearhead the program and ensure that other employees know that they’re the points of contact.

Once there is a team to lead the program, they should begin surveying staff members to learn what it is they want. Some important topics to cover include:

  • Current health habits, including general information about diet and exercise
  • If the workplace set up can support either of these things
  • Knowledge about healthy lifestyles and barriers to change
  • Which activities they’d like to participate in at work
  • How can these be put in place at work?
  • Discussion around the mental demands of the job, and any perceived problems
  • Working relationships
  • General levels of support and preparation offered to staff members

Once your team has answered these questions, it will be easier to decide what programs and incentives to put into place. Did a lot of people complain about sitting too much? Try implementing walking meetings or standing desks. If unhealthy snacks are the issue, find some healthier ones to order the next time the office is out.

You should also consider the specific challenges your industry faces. Not all jobs have the same work environments and therefore they should not have the same workplace wellbeing strategy either.

For many office-based companies, issues at work are due to cramped conditions, poor space planning, a lack of ergonomic furniture, and bad air quality. Some of the problems can be addressed by encouraging collaboration, learning how to use the space you’re in better, or switching up the interior design.

Remember that no plan will be perfect the first time around. Be prepared to make revisions as time progresses and people try out the new additions to the office.

A Few Simple Changes

While a more robust wellbeing program may take some time to develop, there are some simple changes that can be implemented in just a few weeks.

  • Offer Yoga classes during lunch
  • Establish a walking group
  • Encourage people to have meetings outside or go for a walk during the meeting
  • Supply healthier snacks
  • Provide standing desks so people can take a break from sitting
  • Urge sick employees to stay home
  • Decorate with plants – they’ve been proven to boost people’s mood

Switch Up Your Office

If your current office is not conducive to a workplace wellbeing program, it may be time to move. An office with better lighting, more space, and a better layout will increase employee happiness and productivity.

Ready to start the search? Rosetti Properties owns and manages approximately 500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in Albany County. Our buildings are “A” rated and can be altered and/or built to meet the needs of your business, meaning your office wellbeing program is within reach!

Explore our properties for rent or contact us today!

 

How Gen Z Will Impact Your Workforce

Sacha R - Friday, December 27, 2019

Just as you’ve started to get a handle on what Millennials look for in a prospective employer and company, a new generation of workers is on the horizon. The iGeneration, or Generation Z, are those born between 1995 and 2010, with the oldest being about 23 and just entering the workforce.

The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that in the next two years, 20% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of this generation. What does this new generation want from their employer and how do you market to them? Understanding how to adapt your workplace culture to the needs of this newest generation will help give your company a competitive edge.

What Gen Z Wants from an Employer

While members of Generation Z are constantly connected and consume media from multiple sources, they still value in-person communication and contact.

Gen Z is looking for the following from their employer:

  • Frequent interactions with organizational leaders (40% desire daily interactions)
  • Regular feedback about their performance
  • Face-to-face interactions

Management must be actively involved in the progression of their careers. A strategy should be in place to provide this generation with mentorship, sponsorship, and one-one-guidance.

To do so, management at your company should implement weekly or bi-weekly one-on-ones. This is an opportunity to openly discuss the status of projects, any concerns or hardships, and new ideas. It’s also an opportunity for management and employees to get to know one another.

One survey found that 16% of Gen Z’ers value their relationships with coworkers and 15% highlighted the importance of supervisor interactions. Weekly check-ins will show Gen Z’ers that they are valued within the company and give them an opportunity to form connections with their supervisors.

There should also be goals in place that will help them actively advance in their careers. Check in on the status of the goals and provide valuable feedback. This feedback should be given in-person, as 53% of Generation Z say they prefer in-person discussion over instant messaging or email. Just as you were getting used to communicating over Slack, it’s time to switch it up again!

How to Market to Gen Z

Your marketing strategy for Gen Z should look different compared to your strategy to advertise to Millennials. It should be personalized, optimized for multiple platforms, and contain interactive and stimulating elements.

81% of respondents in one survey indicated that they use social media to find out more about products. They’re connecting with brands through their social networks and communicating with others who like the same products. Focus the majority of your efforts and money on engaging with customers on social media.

Ads, as well as organic posts, should contain interactive graphics, aesthetically pleasing photos, and fun, but short, videos. Anything that will make Gen Z customers want to share your content with their friends. Brands that are not taking full advantage of the real-time engagement that social media provides are missing the boat on reaching an entire generation.

Generation Z is also never without their phones, so it’s imperative that your advertisements and website are mobile-friendly. If you’re a retail brand, consider utilizing the “click-to-shop” option on Instagram to allow your audience to have an even easier shopping experience.

As employees, Gen Z’ers want frequent interactions with supervisors and company leaders. They value relationships and want one-on-one time with managers. As shoppers, Gen Z’ers are everywhere at once, so it’s important to diversify your marketing efforts. Identify the platforms your audience uses the most and make sure you have a presence.

Generation Z has already begun to shift the workforce, so the time to adapt is now.

 

How to Increase Your Customer Retention

Sacha R - Tuesday, December 24, 2019

customer retention

For those in a product or service-based industry, customers are the number one priority. However, often the chase for new clients makes us forget about our existing clients. While trying to win over a prospective client, we don’t effectively address the needs and wants of existing clients. As a result, those clients leave and the cycle repeats itself.

Yet, we hear over and over again that it’s more cost-effective to keep existing clients than acquire new ones. According to Marketing Metrics, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.

So how do we increase customer retention and spend less money on client acquisition?

5 Ways to Increase Customer Retention

If you’d like to spend less time acquiring new clients and more time focusing on the ones you already have, follow these five strategies.

Communication is Key

Of course we should be communicating with our clients, but you may not be doing it as often as you should. Regular, positive interactions with existing customers and clients are vital to high retention.

If you sell a product, communication should not start and stop with the initial purchase. Supporting, engaging, and informing customers is an ongoing task. Send emails about new promotions, industry updates, or company announcements. It all counts towards building a solid relationship.

If you’re in the service industry check in with your clients regularly to see how they're doing and if they have any feedback. Send emails about company updates and industry news and make sure your clients know you’re available whenever they may need something.

Put Your Employees First

Yes, we’re talking about clients, but good employees are the key to client success. How you treat your customers will determine how motivated, confident, and committed they are to building client relationships.

Listen to your employees’ needs, offer training to better equip your team, and make office wellbeing a priority. You should also be investing time and capital in your staff. Courses, certifications, and off-site training will help your employees feel valued.

In return, your team will be happy and motivated to work on client retention. A customer who feels valued, respected, and heard is less likely to jump ship.

Don’t Ignore Complaints

Did you know that 96% of unhappy customers never bother to complain? That being said, take the time to analyze the complaints you have received and address the concerns. While some may be ridiculous, the majority are most likely legitimate complaints. Take them as an opportunity to improve.

Once you rectify the issue, ensure that the individual who made the initial complaint is addressed. They will feel valued and like they made a difference at your company. In turn, they’re also much more likely to remain a customer or client.

Make it Personal

At this point you’ve probably caught on that customer retention is about making people feel like they matter (and they do!).

Personalize emails, conversations, and social media interactions whenever possible. Treating customers in a personalized way and sending the message that your relationship with them is a partnership will build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.

If you send client gifts every holiday season, don’t send the same gift to every client. Take the time to think about what each individual would really enjoy and use. No one likes to be just another number.

Thank Your Customers

The holidays are not the only time to send clients or customer gifts. Surprise them with the occasional gift to show you care and to thank them for choosing to buy/work with you.

The gifts don’t have to be expensive, either. A handwritten card, a gift card around the person’s birthday, or a new water bottle with your company logo will put a smile on their face! Saying thank you goes a long way in distinguishing a faceless company from a beloved brand or business.

Value Your Existing Customers

You should never stop seeking new customers and expanding your businesses. However, it will never grow if you are constantly losing the clients you already have. Losing customers is simply too expensive, as the average global value of a lost customer is $243! Your existing customers give you a great chance to increase your profits, as they are more likely to buy from you than prospects.

The key to client retention is taking the time to value them and listen to their wants and needs. Once you do this, you’ll find that your business practically grows itself.

Want more on customer success? Read through the following articles:

Creating a Customer Centric Business Culture

5 Ways to Increase Prices While Maintaining Customers


[DB1]Link to January blog post

How to Make Monotasking Work for you

Sacha R - Tuesday, December 03, 2019

monotasking in the workplace

Multi-tasking has been proven to heighten mental stress, ruin memory and concentration, and be literally impossible. So why do we still do it?

“As much as people would like to believe otherwise, humans have finite neural resources that are depleted every time we switch between tasks," The New York Times reports. “That's why you feel tired at the end of the day. You've used them all up."

Multitasking is detrimental because it doesn't actually feel impossible. In fact, many people brag about their ability to multitask. As Psychology Today explains, “When you multitask 'successfully,' you activate the reward mechanism in your brain which releases dopamine, the happy hormone. This dopamine rush makes you feel so good that you believe you're being effective and further encourages your multitasking habit." At first, multitasking appears to give us an enormous hit of that rush, and “that's why it's so hard to stop multitasking," Psychology Today says, “because you've conditioned your mind and body to feel that thrill."

In addition, multitasking can make you feel more optimistic, making you less careful about your work and more likely to make mistakes. Ultimately, multitasking prolongs how long it takes to complete a task because we have to go back and fix our mistakes.

Rather than trying to do three things at once, it’s better to focus on one task at a time. What was once simply called “paying attention” has now been given the trendy term of monotasking.

Monotasking is something that needs to be practiced, as our devices today are not conducive to doing one thing at a time. As mentioned previously, we’ve also conditioned our brains to crave background noise and get distracted by even the slightest thing.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that interruptions as brief as two to three seconds were enough to double the number of errors participants made in an assigned task. Put away your phone, turn off the tv or music, don’t check your email, and don’t log on to social media. Now all that’s left is the one task at hand. While difficult at first, eventually you will retrain your brain to be rewarded by monotasking.

If this is daunting to you, there are 3 simple steps to reclaim your focus:

  • Only open one browser tab at a time
  • Write down your list of tasks for the day and put the list where you can see it
  • Schedule breaks so your brain can rest before taking on the next task

Of course, it’s not always possible to monotask, especially at work when you can’t always control how long you have to work on tasks. If this is the case, focus on eliminating the two things that distract us the most: email and text messages. Having specific times throughout the day to check your email and phone will minimize distractions and allow you to get your work done.

If you’re able to monotask just for an hour or two a day, you will be able to retrain your brain to focus and be more efficient. No one is good at multitasking, so the sooner you realize this the better. Just because you think you’re successfully juggling multiple tasks doesn’t mean you are. Focus on one at a time and notice how much faster you get things done!

 

Creating a Company Culture that Goes Beyond the Perks

Sacha R - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

coworkers creating company culture

What makes a company a great place to work?

Five years ago, many millennials entering the workforce would’ve said catered lunches, flexible schedules, foosball tables in the break room, and beer available in the fridge. Now, people are looking for more.

Great company culture cannot be built on perks alone. Free pizza and games are not the foundation of a company that cultivates loyalty and trust amongst its employees. Instead, a company’s culture should be founded on the core qualities managers seek out when hiring employees.

From the Ground Up

When creating a company culture, start with the type of people you want working for you. Are they empathetic? Kind? Creative? These are the core qualities and principles on which your company is based.

By building a work environment based on attributes and qualities, your employees will trust the person sitting next to them. Collaboration and creative thinking will come naturally as every person there was hand-selected based on the same values.

A strong culture is the secret weapon for employee retention and company success. However, keeping the culture intact is challenging. You must be intentional about building it and preserving it.

Some of the best company cultures are built on trust and good communication. If a sense of trust begins to break down, communication suffers and vice versa. When there is no trust, issues are not brought to light to be discussed and solved. Competition can also be incredibly high in a way that is unhealthy. Employees are silently battling one another to be the best in their department.

Hiring the Right People

Hire people who share your company values. Anyone who does not share your company values is a direct threat. Make a DISC assessment or other type of personality test part of your hiring process so you can tell who will fit in best.

In the beginning, maintaining your company culture will be relatively easy. As your business grows, however, the responsibility will fall on management and those in charge of hiring. Coaching and performance reviews will become crucial to ensure your company values remain the same.

As you scale your culture will change a bit. No two people have the exact personality, so every employee will influence the dynamic slightly. This is something to be embraced while also remembering your core company values.

Check in on Your Team

Observing the office from afar will not provide the insight you need to know how things are going. You need to create opportunities for employees to express their feelings. Send out anonymous satisfaction surveys, go on a walk with a different employee each week, or join them for lunch one day.

Whatever you choose, it should be a chance for your team members to chat about life, work, and whatever else is on their minds in a casual environment. You simply want to know if your team is happy, fulfilled, and feels like they have direction at work.

You Can’t Rely on Perks

Perks are great, and they shouldn’t be ignored, but they also shouldn’t be made a priority. All of the time off in the world cannot replace poor management and a sense of distrust within a company.

Perks can also do more harm than good. If you provide too much for your employees (looking at you, Google) they begin to rely on you for their basic needs. Their motivation becomes tied to the perks and they lose sense of their professional purpose and company values.

At the end of the day, people want to go to work and feel valued and that they can trust others. They want a collaborative environment where communication is encouraged and their opinions matter. The pizza and foosball are just a bonus.

Looking for more on company culture? Read how to create a customer-centric business culture and learn what amenities are worth investing in .

 

Why You Should Still Open A Retail Store

Sacha R - Thursday, November 07, 2019

brick and mortar vs online

There is a common myth that brick and mortar stores will soon be a thing of the past. With the rapid rise in online shopping, Amazon Prime, and shopping holidays such as “Cyber Monday”, it can be easy to believe that physical retail spaces don’t matter anymore. When the rest of the world is going digital, why wouldn’t the same hold true for shopping?

The Rise of eCommerce

The year is 2014. Brands like Warby Parker and Casper are taking Instagram and Facebook by storm with their sleek aesthetic, unique branding proposition, and innovative products. Even better are the user-friendly websites that make online shopping simple and, dare we say, enjoyable.

Today there are 20 other companies trying to be the next Warby Parker, Casper, or Dollar Shave Club. Each has a strong social media presence and follows you around the Internet with expertly designed and targeted ads. However, there is little that sets each business apart from the other and many are being left in the dust. The Internet has proven to be a hard place to create an individualized shopping experience.

As a result, companies who emerged as eCommerce giants have taken to opening physical stores. Warby Parker now has over 64 locations in the U.S. and Casper mattresses can be found in over 1,000 Target stores nationwide. So why the shift back to brick-and-mortar stores?

Experience Over Convenience

When shopping online, a person’s experience is limited to a website’s functionality and customer service representatives. There is minimal personalization and many websites look the same.

Brick-and-mortar retail spaces provide shoppers with an overall experience. Everything from the wall color, how the store smells, lighting and music is chosen with the customer in mind. It’s these details that allow companies to distinguish themselves and keep customers coming back for more.

Many are also realizing that it’s worth being able to touch, see, and feel certain items before choosing to buy them. We’ve all had an item arrive at our doorstep that, upon opening, isn’t quite what we were expecting. While shopping for clothes online is convenient, being able to try them on in store eliminates any worry that they won’t fit.

There is another myth that Millennials are the reason brick-and-mortar stores are failing. While they shop both online and in-store, they’re actually much more likely to make a purchase in-store. Millennials have a need for instant gratification and don’t want to wait for items to be shipped. A physical store allows shoppers to browse at their leisure and then purchase the item they like right away.

Best of Both Worlds

While brick-and-mortar isn’t going away, neither is online shopping. As a result, many companies are combining the two worlds through apps and mobile shopping. Target offers coupons that shoppers can only access through their app. CVS uses location services to notify shoppers of offers and deals once they arrive at one of the drugstore locations. Mobile apps create a personalized in-store experience unlike any other.

What to Consider When Opening a Retail Store

  • Consider the location of your business and obtain foot traffic numbers so you know how many people to expect at your store.
  • Do your research. Be certain there is a market for your business and that it is relevant to the community.
  • Define the customer experience. Millennials want an experience that is different than online and “worth the drive”. Create a mobile app to enhance the brick-and-mortar experience for your customers and ensure your customer service goes above and beyond.
  • Create a strong social media presence that highlights the unique elements of your store. This will attract your customers and make them want to see your store for themselves.

Ready to open your own retail store? Rosetti Properties offers retail space in Albany, NY perfect for businesses of all sizes. Get in touch today and become the store your customers will love to shop!

Work-Place Parking Lot Etiquette

Sacha R - Friday, October 25, 2019

workplace parking lot

 

Parking lot etiquette (no, we did not make it up) is a crucial but often forgotten about element to employee happiness. Where and how employees park can improve morale, make you an employer of choice, or lead to hard feeling among co-workers. A clear parking policy that includes etiquette will ensure your employees have a good start to the beginning and end of their day.

Creating Parking Lot Etiquette

Assign Spots

Don’t just give the best spots to the top executives and let the remaining employees fight for what’s left. This can be insensitive, create a visible caste system, and create morale issues. Identify desirable spots in a garage, those that are in the front row, or closest to the door and assign them to key personnel as perks. In addition, use one for an employee-of-the-month reward and another for any employee who may be pregnant.

ADA Requirements

The American with Disabilities Act sets regulations for handicapped parking spaces. You must follow the regulations or face stiff fines. Consult with a qualified attorney to set up your parking spaces correctly.

Diagonal Parking

Some people like to ignore the lines of a parking lot and park on a diagonal to avoid scratches and dent. Discourage employees from doing this as it limits the number of spots in a lot and creates bad blood between team members.

Customer Parking

If you’re a retail business or regularly have clients coming to the office, make to block off the best spots for them. Your customers will thank you and your employees won’t be able to argue with putting the customer or client first.

Eliminate Trash

Discourage employees from throwing trash from their cars in the parking lot. This makes your workplace look unkempt and requires someone else to pick up the garbage. Encourage people to throw their trash away by placing a garbage can or two in the lot.

Storing Cars

Cars should not be kept in a company parking lot for more than a few days. If an employee will be traveling out of town, encourage them to take an Uber into work or get a ride from someone else. While impractical, a vehicle that’s left in one of the best parking spots can irritate others who would like to park there.

If you’re in need of a bigger office and more employee parking, get in touch today! Our office buildings are located throughout the Capital Region and all offer ample off-street parking. Close proximity to Albany, Schenectady, and Troy make our commercial spaces convenient for everyone. We pride ourselves in giving everyone the ability to select office space in the location of their choosing, so you know you’ll be renting a space that works for you!

What is Activity-Based Working?

Sacha R - Friday, October 04, 2019

activity based working office floorplan

If you’ve attended a trade show, conference, or even just talked with your friends recently, you may have heard about activity-based working (ABW for short). ABW is rapidly becoming one of the most popular workplace strategies and organizational trends.

With ABW, it’s left up to employees to decide where to work depending on the type of work they’re doing. There are no designated desks, instead they can work in the kind of space that best supports the task at hand.

What’s Behind the Shift?

The type of work employees are performing is changing. The image of 50 employees silently working at rows of desks is long gone. Instead it has been replaced with people collaborating, meeting clients outside of the office, and using new technology to brainstorm ideas. Computers now take care of a wide range of routine tasks, freeing up workers for more value-add, idea generation, and problem-solving activities.

Employers are also beginning to be influenced by universities. When a student is getting their degree, they have a choice to work on a group project at the library, someone’s apartment, outside, or at a coffee shop. Entering the workforce where all work is done at a desk or in a conference room is startling and foreign. Those who want to attract and retain young, talented people must embrace new ways of working.

That being said, for those who are already in the workforce, they must adapt to ABW. It can take time to adjust to the idea of no longer having a desk that is “yours”. Instead, everything is shared and you’re free to move about as you wish.

9 Surprising Stats About Activity-Based Working

  1. Nearly 70 of participants in a study by Dutch researchers Susan Smulders and Denise Clarijs say an activity-based working environment increases their productivity, and two-thirds feel their work is more stimulating
  2. Over 60 percent of respondents in Smulders and Clariji’s survey say they have more energy in an activity-based working environment
  3. British utility company National Grid reduced operational costs by $11.43-14.29 million by implementing activity-based working. It also saw an 8 percent increase in overall productivity.
  4. 88 percent of highly engaged employees have the option to choose where in the office they work based on the specific task(s) they need to do
  5. Almost 80 percent of employees say their productivity is influenced by whether or not they have access to a quiet room where they can focus
  6. After adopting activity-based working, workplace design firm Oktra was able to eliminate 30 percent of desks
  7. 81 percent of employees at businesses that use ABW say the company culture supports mobility and flexibility
  8. 98 percent of highly satisfied employees work at a company where they have the freedom to move around the office during the day
  9. 78 percent of employees who work in an activity-based working environment say they are satisfied with the support they receive for planned meetings

Implementing Activity-Based Working

If you’re considering implementing activity-based working, there are several things you want to consider.

Be Inclusive

When designing your space, make sure it meets the needs of both the extroverted and introverted members of your team. While some like to work in silence, others like to have a lot of commotion and stimulation. You also need to include rooms to take conference calls in private and areas that encourage collaboration.

Respect the Three Pillars

People, technology, and spatial elements all play a critical role in ABW. Providing different spaces for different tasks is useless if people don’t have the mobility enabling technology to use them and the boss still thinks ‘work’ must be completed at a desk.

Ask for Employee Input

Before you begin to implement the cultural change, create a survey and request that your employees fill it out. Ask about their work habits, the tasks they do on a daily basis, and how they prefer to work. You’ll gain insight into a plan that will work for your company and help you retain your workforce.

Finding the Right Space

If you want to implement Activity-Based Working but don’t have the office to do so, get in touch with us today. We manage over 500,00 square feet of commercial space in the Capital Region and guarantee we’ll have the right office for you. With the ability to alter and build to meet your needs, you’ll have your Activity-Based office culture implemented in no time.