Could your office be holding you back?

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A recently released report by research company CBRE has revealed that your office space might be having more of an impact on staff than you realise.

According to the report, growth is predicted to be the most influential factor over the next few years when it comes to real estate strategy.

Respondents generally said that they expected business conditions to improve over the next twelve months, with 68% predicting growth and just 4% expecting to see deterioration in business conditions.

Three quarters of the survey’s participants also said that they expected their number of employees to rise over the next two years.

“This means [it is important to] find a location and create an office space that is appealing to the workforce from a number of aspects such as transportation, proximity to services and amenity, and, in many cases, good image,” CBRE said.

On average, respondents were willing to pay a total maximum of:
  • Around $500 per square metre for Premium Grade space
  • Around $450 for Grade A space
  • Around $350 for Grade B space
Occupiers who relocated or expanded in the last couple of years compromised more often on rent than on any other parameters of a lease, with just 32% saying that they would immediately rule out a space which was out of their budget.

Unassigned seating arrangements seemed to be influential on the success of workplace change: workplaces with unassigned seating said that change management was 21% more successful than employers who had assigned seats.

The most commonly cited preferences for prime quality included:
  • “The best working environment for our people”
  • “Suits the value and image of the company”
  • “Building and space efficiency”
  • “Impact on staff, culture and performance”
  • “Staff focus”
  • “Appropriate corporate image”
According to recently moved occupiers, relocation has generally affected the morale and productivity of employees positively, with around 80% of employers seeing improvement in both areas after relocating.

Office layout and building image or quality had the biggest improvements on morale and productivity, with the amount of space per person also improving both.

Almost half of respondents said that staff productivity had increased as a result of upgrading their office space.

“It is safe to say that all organisations want a more productive workforce,” said the report. “The findings of our survey indicate that upgrading the quality of office space and implementing a strategic workplace program is an efficient way to reach this goal.”

HRM spoke to Zoltan Moricz, senior director and head of research in New Zealand for CBRE Research.

“Having the right space can result in higher engagement and morale,” he told HRM. “A big thing that our findings suggested is that cultural change and physical change go hand in hand. If this is done well and thoroughly, the benefits can be substantial.”

“Another aspect to consider is the demand for high quality office space when it comes to the competition between employers to attract talent,” he added. “This can be in terms of building, area and office space itself. The overall image of the workspace can influence retention as well as attraction, as you are aligning your physical space and brand when choosing an office space.”

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