9 Traits of Innovative Workplaces in 2022
What makes an innovative and attractive workplace? The possible answers are endless, but there are a few mainstays and relevant traits that attract and retain talented teams to sustainably grow your business. These traits revolve around hiring and onboarding processes, HR efforts, and how the office or workspace functions. Check out our list of 9 traits of an innovative workspace in 2022 for inspiration and ideas.
#1: Openness and transparency–in hiring, growth opportunities, and the office!
Employees value honesty and transparency more than ever! Gone are the days of secrecy and obfuscation when it comes to pay, promotions, hiring practices and office etiquette. Being straightforward, honest, and open will attract quality employees who will stick around for the long haul. It also fosters a productive environment where innovation and creative iteration are offered freely and celebrated.
#2: Genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Too often, DEI efforts can feel stale or forced. Employees can feel the difference immediately. When DEI is performative, it drives qualified employees away, compels candidates to choose other positions, and slows growth opportunities for a company. Companies that revel in their DEI efforts and undertake them out of genuine passion get repaid in dividends. Cultural competency, increased workplace diversity, and accessibility bring a team closer together.
#3: Employee perks that show you put your team members first.
It’s impossible to avoid news stories about the great resignation and the tight labor market that has accompanied it. People are no longer settling for the bare minimum from their positions, and many employers are stepping up to make themselves more competitive. Whether this is a discounted gym membership, pre-tax dollars for transportation, paid days for volunteering each year, or other interesting lifestyle perks, companies are tailoring their positions to the whole person. An employee doesn’t stop working for your company when they leave the office, something that is more apparent than ever since the start of the pandemic. Showing your team that you really care will create trust and dedication!
#4: Communal spaces and moments of connection.
Offices and workplaces with communal space and areas to meet and mingle with coworkers encourage collaboration and brainstorming. It’s also a way to help employees who may be stressed, struggling, or anxious. Mutual encouragement and collaboration are great for morale and outlook. More than a conference room, a break room or sitting area where employees can get together and chat during down time each day can transform a stale office into a buzzing hub of creativity.
#5: Opportunities to get moving during the work day.
It’s tough to sit still at a desk for 8 hours. And–it turns out that it’s pretty bad for you. Doctors recommend getting moving every hour or so during the work day, even if it is just for a few seconds. Stretching and walking around are great for resetting posture. However, truly innovative workplaces are taking it a step further. Standing desks, treadmill desks, or daily fitness classes that employees can attend are just some of the solutions popping up as an answer to the largely sedentary office lifestyle. Other ideas include meetings at parks or on the patios of local coffee shops, with a nice group walk to those locations. Getting up and a little active makes a huge difference to energy levels and productivity,
#6: Intentional design in the office–making it a fun place to be!
Working from home for so long has only heightened the need for intentional office design. Since being able to create our own workspaces in the comfort of our own homes, the pressure is on to seriously improve the office. Good lighting, comfy seating, communal spaces, plant life, and open floor plans are just some of the trends sweeping innovative offices across the country. It’s a great idea to open up the office design process to employee feedback and brainstorming. Your team knows what works best for them, so why not ask?
#7: Giving back to local causes and connecting with your community.
Covid-19, movements for racial justice, and the growing threat of global warming are incredibly present stressors for all of us right now. If workplaces ignore the uniquely precarious times that we’re living in, they may lose a chance to better connect with their employees. Small efforts like volunteering, fundraising drives, or donation drives can make a huge difference to local organizations and connect your office with the community that you are already inhabiting. It’s also a great way to show your employees that you understand what they’re going through and are actively looking for ways to help.
#8: Sparking creativity with art work around the office.
Offices with beautiful art pieces inspire greater creativity, productivity, and a higher overall mood across their employees and anyone who may visit. Art has been scientifically proven to boost mood and creative problem solving. It’s an easy way to make your workplace more attractive–while also making it more effective! Plus, intentionally selected art disrupts the stereotype of the boring office, making it into somewhere that people actually want to be.
#9: Commissioning a workplace mural to show off your unique mission and vision for the future.
Some of the most rapidly growing and innovative companies in America have chosen to commission workplace murals. Why? Because they show off a company’s mission, vision, and history, all while supporting local artists and creating connections with local communities. Linkedin is a great example. As a young and influential company that attracts tech talent from all over, they’re a workplace to watch. Linkedin’s Detroit office had already commissioned a mural from IPaintMyMind in 2019, but they reupped this year with a series of three amazing murals by artists Miss Birdy, Sheefy McFly, and Mike Han. These murals make their Detroit office shine, attract attention, and show off their commitment to supporting local artists and public school arts education!
Learn more about IPMM’s Custom Mural program to find out about how you can commission a mural for your workspace. You’ll pay a local artist of your choosing while supporting our arts education programs at Chicago Public Schools.
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