Establishing a sense of belonging is a crucial element in workspace layout and design, significantly impacting overall employee wellbeing. In this article, Ryan Trowbridge explores how businesses embracing flexible work practices can cultivate this sense of belonging within the workspace, ultimately fostering higher employee loyalty, productivity, and happiness.
Create spaces that foster meaningful connections
The foundation of connection within a workplace lies in facilitating effortless interactions among employees. In a flexible work environment, this involves creating spaces that encourage both impromptu and planned gatherings, allowing for meaningful moments of connection.
To achieve this authentically, organisations must meticulously plan their spaces and layouts. This could manifest in anything from chance encounters in hallways adorned with comfortable seating to providing diverse amenities that enable employees to bond over shared interests like books or favourite hot drink.
Inclusive spaces cultivate empowerment and trust
Belonging hinges on employees feeling that their distinctive attributes, viewpoints, ideas, and experiences are genuinely valued by their organisation and colleagues. Flexible spaces that not only accommodate diverse activities and work styles but also empower individuals to use the space as per their preferences can expect a sense of autonomy and choice.
By providing accessible spaces that grant choices and entrust individuals to tailor their workspace use to their needs, organisations can cultivate a pervasive atmosphere of trust across their workforce.
Design to align with company vision and purpose
Recent years have seen organisations increasingly recognise the importance of defining a clear purpose that guides their decision-making and shapes their employee experience. Aligning the workspace with an organisation’s purpose and culture creates a sense of familiarity among employees and unites them toward a shared goal.
So, how can you foster a deep and inclusive sense of belonging in the workplace among a diverse workforce?
Primarily, involving people early on in the conversation is paramount to designing a workspace that factors in individual and team emotional and operational needs. Here’s how:
- Collaboratively establish a unified vision for the workspace, anchoring it to the organisation’s purpose and overarching goals.
- Encourage insights, opinions, and ideas from your employees regarding the kinds of spaces, amenities, and experiences they seek within their workspace.
- Recognise and accommodate diverse personality types and motivations within your workforce, ensuring the provision of spaces that evoke a sense of security and empowerment.
- Offer an array of avenues and methods for individuals to contribute and provide feedback during the workspace shaping process.
Incorporating these principles not only makes your workspace more inclusive but also actively engages employees, nurturing a sense of belonging that fuels their commitment and productivity.
The Workspace Consultants are a workplace strategy, design and project management practice offering bespoke services to support office redevelopment or relocations. There diverse team bring together a unique blend of skills and experiences, and together with their clients, they reimagine and deliver workspaces to promote positive business benefits.
Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.