03/19/2024 • 4 min read

The Workplace Reset

Exploring the benefits of an “all-in” approach

by Haworth, Inc.

The spaces where employees work directly influence organizational culture. Over the past few years, we have been in transition—questioning how, when, and where we work. Traditional work models are being replaced with new ideas and concepts that are constantly researched, scrutinized, tested, and questioned. Evolving behaviors and attitudes pose challenges for leaders whose decisions significantly impact productivity, efficiency, and organizational culture. 

A Clear “Why”

When people work together in a shared space, there are clear benefits. Face-to-face interaction builds stronger business relationships and allows real-time problem-solving. There is also better and more efficient communication. Rather than sending a text, or email, or setting up a virtual meeting, which can be time-consuming, employees can quickly and spontaneously talk to each other.

Tough conversations become easier because people can pick up on nonverbal cues and body language, quickly adapting their communication approach and providing two-way clarification. Performance management also improves because feedback can be offered more readily. 

Creating Beneficial Boundaries

Organizations that bring people into the office—even two or three days a week—often have core hours. Many people prefer a regular schedule, where they can define the boundaries between their work and personal lives. Workdays with set beginning and ending times allow for greater work-life balance, as the predictable hours make it easier to plan both work and personal activities.

The cohesion of time spent together—working as well as socializing—creates connections that strengthen teams. Ideas have more opportunities to cross-pollinate, knowledge and information are shared, and networks grow. Mentoring happens organically when diverse generations and employees of all levels work together, whether experienced workers model decision-making skills or everyone learns new technology.

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Building a Better Organizational Culture

According to a report by Gallup, there are significant drawbacks and challenges to having a hybrid workforce. Leaders are actively reassessing their approaches to accommodate evolving workforce dynamics and cultivate a more positive work environment.

Many companies are bringing their employees into the office for various reasons. And they’re creating spaces where people want to be. Consider the following strategies for enhancing organizational culture.

  • Establishing Ancillary Spaces for Collaboration: Both indoor and outdoor ancillary spaces are essential for fostering collaboration, communication, and socialization among employees. Encourage connections through activities such as regular brainstorming sessions or cross-departmental meetings. Additionally, create designated collaboration areas or informal meeting spots in the office to promote spontaneous interactions among colleagues, contributing to a vibrant workplace.

  • Optimize Workspaces: Design individual workspaces to minimize visual and auditory distractions, promoting productivity. Privacy and focus are crucial for effective heads-down work, and managing office acoustics can enhance the overall work environment.

  • Provide Essential Resources: Many employees come to the office because they lack necessary resources at home. Ensure their well-being and comfort by offering a range of amenities, including comfortable, ergonomic furniture that they can adjust for their personal preferences. Provide adequate storage solutions, top-of-the-line equipment, and high-quality technology to enhance their overall work experience.

  • Promote Visibility: Being seen by leadership at work can offer opportunities to improve communication, give employees a feeling of connection to the company, and give them a better sense of purpose.

  • Incorporate Humanizing Touches: Employees are people, and desirable offices recognize this with amenities like meditation and lactation rooms, live plants, access to natural light, and nature views. A thoughtful approach to workplace amenities makes people feel valued and gives them a sense of belonging.

Organizations that prioritize elements that build culture at the design stage reap big dividends when people come into the office to work, connect, and collaborate.

See How Tommy's Reset Their Workplace

Leaders at Tommy Car Wash Systems had a key goal for their new headquarters: create an office where people want to come to work—together. Discover how they use an open floorplan paired with private spaces, community spaces, and ergonomic features to create a workplace that encourages engagement and builds company culture.


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