Does Your Workplace Work for You?

January 25, 2017

Does your workplace work for you?

It’s a complicated question, and it’s impossible to answer without considering all the pieces and stakeholders in your business, from the C-level to human resources and even facilities management. In a recent podcast with Kayrell Solutions’ Mike Petrusky, workplace strategist Jenya Adler reminds us that the two biggest expenses businesses take on are real estate and human capital. Aligning those two factors—determining whether your workplace works for you and your employees—can keep you from wasting money, time and talent. Here are a few key takeaways from Mike’s chat with Jenya.

“Is [my office] a place I could show up to every day? Do I want to?” - Workplace strategist Jenya Adler on the importance of workplace strategy and office design.

What does workplace strategy mean?

“I think of it as the detective work at the front end of the project,” says Jenya of her work as a workplace strategist. “I don’t get a badge or a cool Sherlock Holmes type of getup but it’s still, to me, detective work.”

In the podcast, she describes helping customers figure out how they are working, how they want to work, and how she, along with Staples Business Advantage, can get them to their desired end state. This often means digging in to figure out what’s working and not working in the office space and using tools like surveys and focus groups to get real, quantitative analytics about the workspace. She goes on to describe the challenge of companies who haven’t touched their space in many years and who are aware they need change, but are just not sure what change will be the most effective and aligned with their business goals. Workplace strategy can help identify what type of space will work best to support those business goals and to support those employees making the business goals happen.

How does wellness factor into workplace strategy?

Workplace wellness is often brought up in conversations about workplace strategy, but where does it fit in? Obviously, employee wellness is important, but wellness is just one part of (and benefit of) a well-executed workplace strategy. As companies seek to attract and retain better talent in this highly competitive environment, a focus on the employees’ experience at work—wellness included—is key. And as our most recent Workplace Index found, issues like work-life balance, poor office culture, and office location all factored heavily into the decision to change jobs for many. Adding in that the office is where most employees feel their most productive and it becomes clear why carefully applying strategy to your workplace choices is just a smart investment.

What are the benefits of a workplace that’s truly aligned with the business?

The benefits of a workplace that’s truly aligned with the business’s goals and mission are innumerable. But there are some that leap out immediately, and that have real, tangible impacts on your business and bottom line. Better access to new and upcoming talent, employee satisfaction and retention, cross-functional stakeholder buy-in, employee wellness and even productivity are all a result of smarter workplace decisions. After all, as Jenya says, when you first enter an office, it makes an impression. “Is this a place I could show up to every day?” she asks. “Do I want to?”

And that is truly at the heart of workplace strategy. When you walk into your office, how does it make you feel?

To listen to the full conversation between Mike Petrusky and Jenya Adler, you can listen to or download the podcast at Kayrell Connections. For more information about the benefits of a workplace strategist, check out our Q&A with Jenya here.

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