HR & Management

You don’t need a Google frame of mind to attract talent in the future

4 min read

15 September 2016

When did our workspaces turn into playgrounds? Google’s Zurich HQ has a slide, while LinkedIn’s office is stocked with drums and guitars – but such perks may not be things staff will want in the future office.

Silicon Valley lives and dies on its culture. It’s a statement made by Robbie Clutton, director at Pivotal Labs, that many agree with. Because, let’s face it, to improve the productivity of a team, their happiness levels need to be taken into consideration.

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But does the out-of-the-box thinking we’re hoping to glean from the Valley really require cinema rooms and a beer fridge? The simple answer is no. With the right approach, companies all over the world can replicate Google and LinkedIn’s success – and it only takes a small change for both company and staff to reap the benefits.

Take, for example, how Amanda Levete Architects implores employees to leave their shoes at the door. “Well, it keeps the carpet clean,” owner Amanda Levete told the Guardian. “Also it’s a great leveller, and it’s relaxing: you can put your feet on the sofas.”

This was echoed by Dieter Breithecker, head of Germany’s federal institute for posture and mobilisation, who claimed “putting the soles of your feet in contact with all the normal sensations helps to relieve internal tension and reduce stress. Shoes, on the other hand, prevent direct contact with the ground and so adversely affect the health of our feet, balance, and posture.”

It’s a simple method to reduce stress, and make people feel more at home, and the trend has been on the rise. But what other trends – not on the Google scale of perks – have grown in popularity amongst staff? Here’s what Making Moves believes are the ten trends for the future office:

(1) Bleacher style seating
(2) No shoes
(3) In-house pizzeria
(4) Yoga room
(5) Breakfast bar, on wheels
(6) In-house barista bar
(7) More indoor-outdoor connections
(8) Adjustable, movable and standing desks
(9) Activity based technology
(10) Digital collaborative technology

And if you still don’t believe Google’s “over the top offerings or you won’t get talent” mindset will do you no good in the future, then here’s Making Moves’ ranking of perks that are dropping down the staff wish list:

(1) Sleep Pods
(2) Pool tables, fußball tables, table tennis tables
(3) Game consoles area
(4) Cinema Rooms
(5) The beer fridge
(6) Executive offices
(7) Whiteboards/flip charts
(8) Bean bags
(9) Walls full of lever arch files
(10) Desk phones

Of the research, Tobi Crosbie, founder of Making Moves, said: “Whilst no shoes and in-house baristas might sound bizarre, it is far more commonplace than you’d expect. Following the many trend reports that discuss a happy office being a productive office, we are genuinely seeing significant changes to the office interior dynamic in a bid to make the office environment a more communal, innovative and friendly space.”

Image: Shutterstock

Workspace design often gets overlooked as a driver for performance and employee engagement, becoming one of the lesser priorities for CEOs and CFOs. But matters such as territorial ownership, differing working practices, collaborative or individual spaces have all affected the modern workspace.