Light and Flexibility: Benefits of Open Office Spaces
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Want to attract and keep talent? Consider these tips for making your workspace work for your people and your business.

When it’s time to hire employees, change locations or simply rethink the best ways to work, you should consider what kind of office space promotes productivity and attracts talent for your company.

“A flexible work environment is a great tool for recruitment and retention, as it encourages more engagement and collaboration,” says Katharine Morris, Vice President of Corporate Real Estate at Regions Bank.

Know Your People

A first step is to know how your teams operate, and then create an environment that helps everyone succeed. Some groups have members who frequently work in a heads-down, more focused fashion while others spend most of their time in group meetings. So, you may decide to have open seating in some areas but quiet zones in others. Few companies find that a completely open seating environment is ideal—it’s about balance, Morris says.

Private offices can be tricky to navigate as companies move toward open floor plans. In some industries, a private office has long been an executive perk and status symbol, Morris says, but it can make a workforce feel too hierarchical.

Understand the Trends

“Unassigned seating and natural light are the two biggest trends we are seeing in the corporate workplace,” Morris says.

Unassigned seating can make it easier to expand teams or offer remote employees a place to work when they come into an open office space. Natural light is one of the most popular features an employer can provide. Eliminating private offices allows more people access to natural light at their workstations. Glass walls for conference rooms let in more light and make it obvious when the room is available.

“The traditional work style is very siloed—office doors and conference room doors are always closed, which is opposite of how the new open office space initiative wants to work,” Morris says. “It is a hurdle for attracting and retaining talent.”

Gather Employee Feedback

Managing change is crucial when transitioning to a new floor plan. Communicate clear expectations for behavior, but most importantly, listen to your employees and make adjustments.

By understanding how your teams operate and considering what they need to do their best work, you can help your company save money and prepare for the future. Morris says companies are helping employees adopt a new mindset: “Work is what you do, not where you go.”

Determine your open office space based on your workforce’s needs and how they feel about the space. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees who feel more positive about their workspaces “report more engagement in their work, more communication with their peers, and a stronger connection to the company.”

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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.