Increase employee engagement with outdoor views, natural light, and onsite kitchens.
You really need to get some natural light into your office. Even better if your workplace offers a nice view of the great outdoors – or a park, or at least a tree or a shrub.
People will pay up to 80% more for a space with a view
This is the sort of thing that might seem trivial, but a view is actually an incredible asset. People pay more for apartments and hotel rooms with a view, in some cases up to 80% more, than they will for real estate and accommodations with no view. It’s much nicer to look outside than it is to look at an inside wall.
In fact, “views of the outdoors” ranked as one of the most valued office perks in a recent survey of 1,600 North American office workers. The survey was conducted by human resources advisory firm Future Workplace and smart-building tech company View Inc., and analyzed by CBRE, to gauge how much a workplace’s physical amenities can increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
A view of the outdoors is one of the most powerful ways to increase employee engagement
The largest influencers on employee engagement were found to be trust in management, company values, and opportunities for development. However, physical amenities also have a big impact and were found to be of high importance. Fifty-three per cent of respondents identified views of the outdoors among their most valued perks. Another 53% percent chose natural light, and 44% wanted on-site cafeteria access or food service, while 37% identified onsite kitchens as their most valued office perk, and 28% chose open office space.
CBRE also found that respondents with access to natural light in their workplaces are 67% more likely to report being satisfied with their company. And employees with a variety of work settings, like work stations, breakout rooms, and communal couches, were 91% more likely to say they were satisfied with their company.
“A workplace’s physical layout and amenities can signal and reinforce a company’s values for its employees,” said Damla Gerhart, Senior Managing Director of CBRE’s Workplace practice, in a statement. “Moving private offices away from the windows so that most of the floor has an outdoor view shows consideration for all employees. Glass-front offices and open workspaces promote transparency and community. We see a correlation between employee engagement and physical designs and layouts like this.”
Studies show that plants in the office also make a world of difference
If your office is in a windowless basement, don’t despair. You can still improve the situation with a few plants. Separate research has demonstrated that having plants in the workplace can be beneficial and increase employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.
One UK study, for example, found that having plants in the workplace increased productivity by 15% and also improved workplace satisfaction and self-reported levels of concentration.
Plants may also help keep employees healthy, reducing the cost of sick days and low morale. An analysis compared health symptoms in workers when plants were present and when they were not. The results showed, according to workdesign.com, that when plants were present:
Neuropsychological symptoms were reduced by 23%
Fatigue was reduced by 30%
Mucous membrane symptoms were reduced by 24%
Cough decreased by 37% and dry throat by 25%
Dry or flushed skin was reduced by 23%
At the very least, get some plants. It can’t hurt.