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Office spaces – home away from home

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Office spaces – home away from home

For five days a week, for nine to twelve hours a day, our places of employment are where most of the population spend most of their time. With mornings and afternoons spent at the office, it has become a home away from home for many people.


“The space in which we work needs to be comfortable and accommodating, so that we enjoy spending our time there. The state of the working environment is conducive in boosting motivation and driving productivity,” says Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of Manpower Group South Africa – a company offering global best practice in human capital management.

She highlights that while one approach to innovating the office space may work for one company, this does not mean it will work for every company. “A one office space idea fits all approach cannot be taken. While Google, for example, added entertainment and relaxation areas into its new London headquarters, this may not work for an engineering company.”


She explains that the approach taken towards changing and innovating an office space should be thought out in conjunction with the company’s employees, in order to gather what would work best in motivating them.


“However, it is important to get rid of clutter for any office space. Clutter destroys motivation. So, efficient storage and reorganisation is a good place to start for any business looking to innovate their workspace and increase employee productivity. Organisation in the workplace can increase productivity by up to 30%,” explains van den Barselaar.


She explains that for improving motivation, team building and strong leadership are equally as important as a comfortable and accommodating workspace. “When employees feel part of a team, and are grounded by strong leadership that they can consult, they feel more motivated to carry out their work and will often be more productive, as opposed to those who feel isolated from their teams and leaders.”


In Havas Worldwide’s Prosumer Report, Volume 11, 2011, it was found that when choosing a job 37% of respondents world wide, aged between 18 and 25, found the ability to balance work and life as the most important aspect, followed closely (23%) by the work atmosphere.


“Millenials, or the people of this generation aged between 18 and 25, expect a degree of happiness in their jobs. Money is not a sufficient replacement for happiness,” says van den Barselaar.


In the Prosumer Report, Volume 15 of 2013, it was found that 76% of prosumers, 57% of the mainstream community, 64% of those aged 18 to 34, 61% of those aged 35 to 54, and 51% of those aged 55+ said they would like companies to play a bigger role in their local community.


“People expect more from companies – they expect businesses and brands to make positive contributions to the world, their countries and communities. In order to do this employees need to be involved, coming up with ideas and pushing campaigns. For this to happen it is important that their environment stimulates their creativity,” van den Barselaar concludes.

Look out for The SA's Coolest Office focus in the August 2013 issue of The SA Leader magazine offering insight into office planning, how colour effects employee motivation and creative ideas to make your office fun and inspiring!

Last modified on Monday, 22 July 2013 11:46
Lyndy van den Barselaar

Lyndy van den Barselaar

Lyndy van den Barselaar has been in the recruitment industry since 1996 and has been involved in all aspects of the recruitment business. She has been involved mainly on the financial side as Financial Manager after which she spent time in financial recruitment as a General Manager before running the outsourcing side of the business. She Joined Manpower in May 2011, initially as Financial Manager and then in January was appointed acting MD in addition to still being Financial Manager. She is currently finishing the final stage of her CIMA qualification.

Website: www.manpower.co.za/

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