“If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers. It's that simple.” Richard Branson
In today’s competitive market, innovation in the workplace is something that all companies strive to achieve. It leads to new ideas, new approaches and new ways of working, which can drive business growth and put your company on the path to long-term success. However, companies often make the mistake of focusing on products and services when looking for opportunities to be innovative, forgetting that the most valuable source of creativity in any business is the people that work there.
The benefits of a positive workplace culture
Workplace culture is essentially the personality of your company. It involves the physical workspace, company values and staff mindset, as well as the expectations and goals of people across the organisation. A company has a positive workplace culture if its employees feel like their needs are met and they’re aligned with the mission, vision and values of the organisation.
The result? A highly-motivated workforce and better outcomes. A study by the University of Warwick in the UK found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive. Staff satisfaction also has a significant impact on innovation in the workplace, with positive moods associated with creativity and goal attainment. A positive culture can also predict strong financial performance, with research by Deloitte showing that companies with a sense of purpose beyond profits were more likely to find long-term success.
How to boost innovation in the workplace
One of the best ways to foster a positive workplace culture and boost innovation in the workplace is to develop a workplace strategy. We start by defining the needs and values of your company and its employees, looking at every aspect of your new office to determine how it will support those needs and values. We also ensure your physical environment is aligned to your work processes, so you can maintain peak performance at every stage of the project.
Here are some tips to consider when refurbishing or relocating your office, so you can foster a positive workplace culture and nurture the creativity of your team:
1. A good office layout is essential for a positive workplace culture. Open meeting areas, collaborative hubs, quiet rooms and wellness rooms encourage staff to build relationships and work together as a team.
2. Designing the desk layout so certain people are seated together can improve relationships between employees and teams, leading to better problem-solving and decision-making across the organisation.
3. A creative office interior design can inspire employees to think outside the box and enjoy the time they spend in the office. Whether it’s textured paint colours, natural light or inspiring artworks, there are plenty of ways to brighten your workplace.
4. The technology you use can support the work of your employees, so they spend less time being frustrated at slow or duplicate systems and more time being creative and achieving their goals.
5. The old days of squeezing staff into a pokey kitchenette to cook their lunch are long gone. Spacious breakout areas and modern kitchens encourage staff to collaborate and supports their health and wellbeing.
We recently developed a workplace strategy for Ironfish, a property investment firm that was undertaking an office relocation and fitout in North Sydney. The team wanted to make the most of their new, spacious office overlooking Sydney Harbour and used the fitout as an opportunity to improve their workplace culture.
Axiom Projects developed a strategy that resulted in the creation of multiple meeting spaces, ample storage to reduce clutter, a large multi-function training and seminar room, and a luxurious reception area for greeting clients. Since the move, the Ironfish team tell us that employees take more pride in their office and their appearance, making good use of the meeting spaces internally, as well as regularly inviting clients to their office for meetings. Staff also enjoy their break time and socialise with co-workers in the new breakout space.
Improving the office space has led to an improvement in the attitudes and behaviours of staff, which over time will have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and retention, as well as client service levels and the bottom line.