What makes a workplace so wonderful to work at? Is it the space? The people?
When one-third of your life is spent in the office, surely the office should be an enjoyable place to be. Hence the concept of the destination workplace was born.
There are many reasons for creating a destination workplace. One of them, funnily enough, is the decentralisation of today’s workforce. Unlike past generations who had to go into the office to physically complete their work, knowledge workers today are capable of handling tasks wherever there is a laptop and Wi-Fi handy. In short, some employees don’t need to come into the office. But if they don’t need to, why should they? The answer is simple - because they want to.
While many of us are slumped at our cramped cubicle desks placated by the Doritos snack machine on the 9th floor, other companies are offering gym suites, meditation rooms, even speak-easy themed office interiors!
By crafting a space that is unique to their firm, companies are killing the office game and carving a reputation as being the destination workplace you’d love to work at. This not only allows them to retain their top employee talent and build a world-class reputation, it also ultimately boosts their productivity and competitiveness.
Are you sold on the idea yet? We hope so! Let us all think about how you can create your very own destination workplace, by reviewing the ideas of several front-runners!
Before you begin drafting office blueprints, riddle me this – what is important to you and your firm, and why?
It sounds elementary, but there is a reason for it - your office should both embody and reflect your company’s culture and values. By treating this as Step One, i.e. the foundation of your business and hence physical space, you can create an office culture that is clearly expressed to employees.
So, let’s say your office is all about creativity and innovation (we’re looking at you, Google!). Then your headquarters should convey as such! This is why Google, alongside many internet giants, are frequently hyped up as this decade’s trendiest offices!
According to their website, “each one of its [office] destinations has its own flavour of Googleyness”. From whizzing around on Mountain View campus scooters to gondola meeting pods for their Zooglers, the company translates their idiosyncrasy into their iconic designs. (And yes, ‘Zoogler’ is a real term. The company calls their Zurich headquarters’ employees this, for real!).
Google triumphs in capturing the culture of its organisation, conveying how creativity and innovation function as the base of what they do. So take note, and get thinking about how to infuse your company values into the workspace!
Before moving on from our Google example, let us address the problem of hype. Office playgrounds have become something of a millennial destination workplace paradigm. And we admit it - the playground slides at Googleplex look great fun!
But it’s time to face some facts. Is there any real benefit to them, or any of these offices’ random features?
The answer truly depends on your organisation’s culture. Creative offices such as tech firms or even media agencies express their cultural ingenuity through these office features. But they make sense; ingenuity is the heart of what they do, and their offices are symbolic of that.
Also, for Silicon Valley giants these cheerful interiors offer a more relaxed working culture. But these will be especially designed to combat the often high-pressure work setting that accompanies the job.
Therefore, while the office playpen might be what a worker at Google would enjoy, consider whether it’s suitable for your particular industry or it might end up flopping for your team. Carve out your company’s destination workplace is to identify your employees’ needs. Not Google’s.
It’s time we move beyond trends and look at your organisation’s bigger picture!
Now that we’ve brainstormed how we should adapt to our employees’ specific needs, it’s time to consider how this translates into a tactile experience.
When we say user experience, often we associate the term with digital products and app design. But this concept is applicable to the physical world too. For example, hotels have become experts in constructing dreamy, otherworldly experiences to attract and retain consumers.
Let’s take tips from the hospitality masters themselves: Hyatt Hotels breaks down their guest experience into seven touchpoints. These key points are 1) Arrivals, 2) Social Space, 3) Food and Beverage, 4) Guest Rooms, 5) Activities and Services, 6) Meetings and Events, and 7) Departure. In doing so, they are able to reproduce their classic guest experience across all of their lodgings.
So how do we take these and apply them to our dream workplace? Thankfully, this hotel giant has already shown us the possibilities!
As part of a collaboration with architecture firm Gensler, the two breathed life into the hotel chain’s global HQ based in Chicago by transmuting the seven touchpoints into ‘The Hyatt Hub’. The only difference? The fourth touchpoint, Guest Rooms, was replaced with work pods for groups between 12-20 people.
The result is an inviting space and elevated ambience, transcending the traditional office. This Hotel-to-Office philosophy has enabled the Hyatt in crafting the utmost guest experience - even in the most unlikely of places. By considering the Hyatt’s corporate mission, “to deliver distinctive experiences for our guests”, let us not forget that their employees can be guests too.
You don’t need to be a hotel chain to adopt this philosophy. Think about the flow between room to room, and the guest experience throughout your office space. Treat your employees as esteemed guests, and they’ll be sure to treat your space as bucket list-worthy!
And if you’re interested in following in the footsteps of Hyatt Hotels by adding work pods to your office, our flexible work pod solution QUBIC is an innovative solution for transforming your space.
We highly recommend that you think hard about the sixth of Hyatt's touchpoints, Meetings and Events, especially in the age of COVID-19.
Once upon a time, WFH was considered an employee perk, but now - as conveyed throughout the pandemic - it feels like a confining reality. And in this isolating experience, while employees largely enjoy having the flexibility of working from home, remote work isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
Still, this is where you and your company’s creativity steps in!
Extracurriculars, casuals, monthly catch-ups, these are all events that we should treat as compulsory, rather than optional. Even if you are working remotely, there’s no shortage of ideas on how we can engage with our workers across a digital platform.
And finally, if you are hosting physical events as the pandemic comes under control, we strongly urge you to look at your hygiene solutions. Check out this article we wrote for further advice on how you can optimise your workspace in terms of hygiene, air quality, and digital leverage!