It’s no surprise that office environments have a strong impact on employees’ productivity and overall motivation. When you think about your own office, how do employees typically like to work? Or maybe your people work from home or a cafe?
Here at Reward Gateway, we have an agile workplace – which means our space is flexible, open and collaborative – with spaces for every individual.
In the past two years, we’ve opened up three global offices – last year our Sydney team moved into purpose-built offices, and our newest RG office is Rochester, New York. We have some tips to share on how to create a positive work environment to help boost employee connections and engagement.
Embrace open dialogue
When it comes to a collaborative space, it’s key to embrace open and honest communication with employees. By fostering a positive work environment, you can not only help employees feel more involved and trust your organisation, but also feel more connected to your business and one another.
In all of our offices throughout the globe, no one has their own office. We all share the same workspace, from the CEO to frontline employees – making it super easy to ask each other questions, share ideas and deepen connections.
And it’s important to make everyone who comes into your office feel included and connected to the space and empowered to spark conversation. In our own offices, we want to create a positive work environment for our people, but also our clients and any industry professionals who come to visit. In fact, we love having people use our spaces (free of charge) and would love to host your team.
Creating inclusive workspaces helps us work towards our mission of making the world a better place to work.
Respect individual preferences
Our specific office provides us with many different areas to collaborate with our coworkers (both within our office and outside). We have our phone booth rooms which give us a quiet place to collaborate with our co-workers from our different offices without distractions. We have our lounge/kitchen area which is our “buzzing” area. The music is played a little louder than in the work station area.
We know not everyone works the same way. Some people need silence, some people like a little white noise and others love to have music playing. On top of that, some people require different environments on different days depending on what they are working on in order to be productive.
Agile working accommodates every type of worker. You can move around based on what your needs are that day, hour, or even minute if you wanted to.
Be open to new experiences
Agile working wasn’t the always the case for some employees before joining Reward Gateway. The thought of not having their own desks was scary at first. People were thinking “where am I going to put all of my things?” We were forced to de-clutter, and quickly learned that we didn’t need all of those things.
Not having a desk = forced to declutter = a clean work area = more productivity.
This is one of the many positives of agile working. It forces you to declutter and stay organised. Having such a clean work area eliminates many of the distractions that we had in our previous office. Creating a positive work environment helps you nurture office culture.
As one of our Client Success Managers, Ryann, puts it, “I love the flexibility our office space provides. It allows me to find a quiet place for client calls or to avoid distractions and also the freedom to sit or stand in different areas that encourage collaboration and socialisation with my team. The ability to literally plug in my laptop and phone anywhere helps me be more productive and efficient with my time.”
Provide benefits that your people want
Providing ping pong tables and beer on tap isn’t going to cut it for today’s workforce. People expect meaningful benefits and want to feel a bigger sense of purpose in the work they do each day.
Think about what your organisation does in terms of corporate responsibility. Do you offer volunteer benefits to engage employees? Do you plan social events with a cause? By creating a work environment that focuses on purpose, you demonstrate that you care about your employees’ interests outside of work.
The Melbourne office loves volunteering and supporting our local community. Our last team volunteering session included moving and packing resources for Foodbank Australia, an organisation that support and supplies food to hundreds of charities and schools around the country.
Taking a day (or even a few hours) to volunteer in your local community will have employees feeling more motivated to come to work the next day with a renewed sense of purpose, helping to create a positive workplace.
So, what are some ways you create a positive employee experience (both in and out of the office) in order to improve employee collaboration? I’d love to hear more in the comments section below!
Natalie Savkoski is our Strategic Client Success and Engagement Manager at Reward Gateway. She loves helping leaders make a positive difference in the everyday lives of millions of people around the world and works with organisations of all sizes to deliver the best tools to motivate and engage their employees.
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