How Outdated Design is Negatively Affecting Your Business
October 19, 2023
The workspace is where we spend most of our conscious existence, yet many companies have been operating for years, sometimes decades, without improving their offices.
Businesses are also facing another challenge. Due to COVID and lockdowns, working from home became a norm, transforming the way we work entirely. People want and need different things when it comes to their work. We have more freedom and this, more power. Businesses must reinvent workspaces to attract their employees back to the offices and strengthen the connection between teams. If companies don't change and adapt, they won't be able to survive any economic or social changes.
One of the ways to pivot through these challenges is to create a work environment where people can develop and grow their potential through collaboration and creation. The purpose of a workspace is to provide a stimulating and safe space where people feel good, appreciated, and connected - to each other and the brand values.
If you think your team doesn't mind claustrophobic cubicles, fluorescent lights, and old carpets, better think again.
Here is how an outdated or dull workspace designcan negatively impact your business:
1. It makes your employees more stressed
How your office looks plays an essential role in controlling employee stress levels. You'd be surprised how such simple things can quickly transform into daily stress. Things like noisy office chairs, outdated break rooms, damaged desks, and carpet peeling up at the corners of the rooms can easily affect your employees' mood and morale.
When your office is in bad shape, it communicates to your employees that you don't care about how it looks and affects them. But it's a double-edged sword. If your employees aren't happy in the place they work, you shouldn't expect them to be pleased about their work or the goals they need to accomplish.
Think of it as clothes we wear. A clean, modern, updated office is like wearing fashionable, comfortable current clothing. If clothes can help us feel good, relaxed, and confident, then the way we "dress" our workspace has the same effect. If your clothes are worn, out of style, and don't fit you, you don't feel confident, creative, or uplifted. Your office space deserves all the attention, and your team deserves all the respect.
2. It decreases your team's productivity and creativity
According to Dell research, a bad technology experience impedes employee performance by more than 30 percent on average, regardless of a user’s perceived computer literacy. No one wants to struggle with old equipment, refurbished technology, or an outdated computer. Productivity drops when team members feel like their efforts are in vain, and it's hard to achieve great results because of external factors. Obsolete technology and tools that slow down or halt someone's productive streak can quickly diminish passion and creativity. Also, it isn't easy to keep up with competitors when they're on a motorcycle while you're still riding an old bike.
Team motivation is crucial for a sustainable and flourishing business. You could lose valuable and talented people if they start feeling like what they are doing is hopeless and without purpose. The easiest way to combat bitterness and pessimism from creeping into the office walls is to ensure your team has everything needed to be innovative and successful.
3. It reduces the perceived value
Walking into an office every day that feels out of time, messy, or boring impacts the mood and motivation of employees. Humans perceive value as team members equally to a business's perceived value. If their environment feels new, modern, and lively, they would connect more to the company's values, be motivated to work, and contribute more efficiently as a member of the team.
However, if your employees walk into a place they don't feel connected to, they will care less because they'll feel like the company doesn't care about them either. Data from a British Council for Offices report showed that 97% of employees believe the workspace is a symbol that represents how much their company values them.
4. It makes employees insecure and doubtful
A lack of investment in the business and updating its workspace or systems may be why employees will start to question their position and security. When doubt and fear bubble up across the team, they begin to doubt: "Why can't the company not buy new chairs or update the inventory management software? Are the sales going well? Maybe they are not making the profits I thought they were when they hired me? I should start looking for something else…"
These are some thoughts that can go through employees' heads if your company's design. Basically, they are already one foot out of the door. To avoid these scenarios, you need to have a long-term strategy and invest in a future-proof and meaningful workspace based on employees' needs.
5. It discourages millennials
By 2025, 75 % of the global workforce will be Millennials, the same generation that is challenging and changing the corporate culture. Moving away from hierarchy and rigid internal structures, Millennials prefer flexible environments focused on human connection and co-creation. Office design that doesn't reflect their values, independent nature, and technological prowess don't score high on their list.
Your business needs to be as progressive as a growing workforce. This means listening to and understanding their needs. Brands that foster diversity, positive experiences, and holistic well-being are the winners in the race for talent.
6. It prevents innovation
Innovation is the lifeblood of modern businesses. Every year, startups showcase interesting new ideas that impact how we live, do business, and engage with each other. Outdated, traditional offices with beige cubicles restrict innovation because they are focused heavily on isolation. While this was beneficial for employees who wanted peace to do focus work, collaboration proved an essential tool for innovation.
Creatives thrive when they collaborate with other creative minds. Sharing ideas, brainstorming, and receiving feedback is crucial for the creative flow. Modern offices prioritize collaboration by creating communal spaces, shared workspaces, and other areas where employees can collaborate and communicate openly.
This doesn't mean you have to sacrifice privacy, but rather that you should include both in your workspace - dedicated collaboration areas and focus rooms.
Time to look forward
Today's high priorities for businesses are attracting new talent, retaining millennials, and keeping up the teams' motivation. One of the easiest ways to communicate this is by creating a modern workspace design that will share your brand story with your clients, customers, and employees. Create a workspace that follows the company's journey and reflects its growth. Show that you care about your business and its future.