Employees need an optimized workplace to complete their tasks effectively. Connecting individuals to one another and integrating core components allows employees to do their jobs without being distracted by the surrounding environment.
Leaders who want to take a proactive approach to their workplace design strategies must consider how their workplace experience shapes the day-to-day for those across the organization. By focusing on how employees work and interact, decision-makers can deliver better experiences for everyone.
As companies strategize the best way to return to the office, focusing on workplace experience makes it easier to implement a successful hybrid work model.
What is Workplace Experience?
Simply put, workplace experience (WX) is how a worker interacts with their space or work environment. It encompasses various aspects of an individual's time at work, including physical, social, and emotional elements that influence their well-being and productivity.
Why Does Workplace Experience Matter?
A positive workplace experience can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher employee retention, improved productivity, and better overall organizational performance. Companies that prioritize and invest in enhancing the workplace experience tend to attract and retain top talent, creating a competitive advantage in the job market.
The Components of Workplace Experience
The core components of workplace experience can vary depending on the specific workplace and industry, but generally include the following elements:
Office Design and The Physical Workplace
This includes the physical layout of an office, the way that space is allocated and utilized, and the facilities and amenities a company has.
The physical environment of a workplace includes the layout, design, and amenities that impact the company's culture and employees' experience. This includes everything from physical surroundings, the lighting, temperature, and furniture to the availability of facilities like restrooms, kitchens, and meeting rooms.
Effective communication is essential for a positive experience in the workplace. This includes clear and timely communication from leadership, as well as opportunities for employees to provide feedback and collaborate with their colleagues.
Clear communication helps to eliminate misunderstandings and confusion, which can save time and improve employee productivity. When employees understand their roles and responsibilities, and have access to the information they need, they can work more efficiently.
This can be the hardest element to define. Office culture includes your company’s norms and work and communication styles. Workplace culture makes a great workplace and encompasses the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that define the organization and its employees.
A positive workplace culture can create a sense of belonging and motivation among employees, while a negative culture can lead to disengagement and turnover.
Company culture plays a critical role in how employees engage with the workplace experience. By fostering a positive culture that aligns with the values and goals of employees, organizations can create an office environment that is engaging, motivating, and supportive, ultimately leading to better performance and business outcomes.
Technology plays a critical role in modern workplaces, and the quality and availability of technology can greatly impact the employee experience. In fact, a study by Ivanti found that 64% of employees believe their experience with workplace technology impacts their morale.
This includes the hardware and software that employees use to do their jobs, as well as the availability of IT support and resources. All the systems, apps, and equipment that a company uses fall under this umbrella, from employer-issued laptops and phones to programs like Zoom or Slack.
The quality of leadership in a workplace can have a significant impact on the employee experience. Good leaders provide clear direction, support, and recognition to their employees, while poor leadership can lead to confusion, frustration, and resentment.
Leaders who are supportive, approachable, and who provide regular feedback to their employees can foster a culture of employee engagement. When employees are engaged in these ways they are more likely to be committed to their work and tend to stay with the business longer.
Employee Experience & Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing includes both physical and mental health, and the workplace has a significant impact on both. A workplace that promotes health and wellness through initiatives like healthy snacks, ergonomic workstations, and mental health resources can lead to happier, healthier employees.
Exploring the employee experience should be a foundational step when building a better workplace experience overall.
Learning and Personal Development
Providing opportunities for learning and development can help employees grow and feel fulfilled in their roles. This can include training, mentorship, and other career development resources.
Ideally, these aspects should work in harmony to create an ecosystem where each employee does their best work. The goal is to improve recruitment, retention, and overall productivity.
By integrating the components of workplace experience into organizational culture, leaders can effectively empower employees to do their best work.
How to Improve Workplace Experience
Hybrid environments can make it difficult to control the workplace experience. How can you cultivate an optimal environment and communicate office culture when everyone is not in the same place at the same time?
Making connections between the workplace and the home is challenging and requires coordination across the entire organization. This work often means coordinating information and human resources in real-time across multiple teams.
Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies for leadership teams that want to create an enhanced workplace experience for their employees.
Dedicate Resources to Workplace Experience
Company culture shouldn’t be an afterthought. Some businesses are adding a dedicated workplace experience manager to their staff to coordinate efforts among the facilities, HR, and IT teams.
Maintain Open Communication
Hybrid and fully remote work are still fairly new in many industries. Whether they’re onboarding new employees or implementing a hybrid work policy among current staff, managers should make sure to communicate their plans and expectations. Talk with employees about the best way to keep in touch when teams are working in different locations, whether that’s by phone, chat, or email.
Foster Team Relationships
Remote employees may feel disconnected, especially if other members of their team are working together in person. Be sure to set aside time to get everyone on the same page and foster a sense of teamwork. Make time for one-on-one check-ins, too, so each employee has the support they need to do great work.
Prioritize Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is a critical factor to consider when working on improving your workplace experience because it can have a significant impact on the overall success of your organization.
Firstly, engaged employees are more productive. They are more likely to be focused, committed, and motivated to achieve their goals, which can lead to better performance and outcomes for your organization.
On top of the productivity benefits, when employees are engaged and satisfied with meaningful work, they are more likely to stay with your organization. When employees feel that they are part of a positive and supportive hybrid work environment, they are more likely to remain committed to the organization and its goals.
Not to mention the impacts on innovation and customer experience. When employees feel that they are part of a culture that values their input and ideas, they are more likely to contribute to the development of new and innovative ideas.
This innovation trickles down to customer interactions. Engaged and motivated employees are more likely to provide excellent customer service, which can lead to higher levels of customer loyalty and retention.
Continuously Evaluate Your Workplace Environment
Regularly evaluating your workplace can have a significant impact on the overall workplace experience for employees. Workplace evaluations can help to identify areas of the workplace experience that need improvement.
This may include issues with communication, workplace design, or technology, among others. By identifying these areas for improvement, organizations can take action to address them and create a better workplace experience for employees.
Regularly reviewing your work environment can also enhance employee performance. By identifying areas for improvement and taking action to address them, organizations can create a more supportive and productive workplace environment, leading to better performance and outcomes.
Hybrid work is not a detriment to a positive workplace experience. Rather, it may be a big factor in promoting staff satisfaction. Giving employees the flexibility to work at home or in the office, depending on their needs, provides autonomy and communicates that their managers trust them.
The Role of Workplace Experience Managers
Workplace experience roles are relatively new, emerging as a result of more flexible workplace policies. This position focuses on creating a positive work environment for employees, from designing office and meeting spaces to implementing wellness programs.
A workplace experience manager works closely with the HR teams, facilities management, and executive leadership to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity. It's a role that requires a blend of problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication, and an eye for design. Ultimately, this role should be focused on transforming workplaces into dynamic and collaborative hubs.
Workplace experience managers play a critical role in creating better hybrid workplace experiences. Here are some strategies that they may use to achieve this:
Handling Communication about Workplace Processes
Workplace experience managers can help to create a better hybrid workplace experience by ensuring that communication is clear, timely, and effective. This may include providing regular updates to employees about changes to policies, procedures, or work arrangements.
Managing Technology in the Physical Workplace
Workplace experience managers can also use technology to create better workplace experiences. This may include providing employees with the tools and resources they need to work effectively from different locations, such as video conferencing software, project management tools, and collaboration platforms.
Building a Human Centered Workplace Design
Workplace experience managers can help to build a better workplace experience by designing workspaces that are flexible, adaptable, and inclusive. This may include creating spaces that are conducive to both in-person and virtual collaboration, and providing employees with the technology and equipment they need to work effectively from different locations.
Leading Training and Development for a Seamless Experience
Workplace experience managers can also help to create a better workplace experience by providing employees with the training and personal development they need to work effectively in a hybrid environment. This may include training on new technology tools and platforms, as well as communication and collaboration skills.
Spearheading Feedback and Evaluation of the Hybrid Work Environment
Workplace experience managers can also use feedback and evaluation to create better hybrid workplace experiences. This may include gathering feedback from employees about their experience working in a hybrid environment, and using this feedback to make improvements and adjustments to policies and procedures.
Overall, workplace experience managers play a critical role in creating better hybrid workplace experiences. By focusing on communication, technology, workspace design, training and development, and feedback and evaluation, they can help to create a workplace environment that promotes employee engagement and is conducive to productivity and success.
Using Workplace Experience Technology
For a workplace experience manager to succeed, they need the right tools. Many hybrid workplaces are turning to office management software like Robin that allows staff members to find and reserve workspaces for when they are in the office.
With this software, employees can find single desks for quiet work or book a conference room for meetings and brainstorming sessions. Better employee experiences in the workplace start with making processes simpler and more streamlined for your teams.
Adding a workplace experience app to a suite of office technology also makes it easy for companies to visualize how they use their physical space, integrate shared calendars, and send announcements to both remote and onsite employees.
To learn more about how to improve the workplace experience, schedule a demo with Robin today.