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Unconventional workplaces and what we can learn from them 

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Throw out the cubicles and bring in the hammocks – it’s time to reimagine the workplace.  

Maybe you’re a boss, and you want to reignite passion in your office. Your employees have returned to the office – a little begrudgingly – but it’s just not the same. The pandemic has closed the door on the old world of work, we’re now in a new space of hybrid, flexible, people-centric business.  

The reasons for this are twofold. The flexibility and autonomy of working from home illuminated the fact that work doesn’t need to operate within a cookie-cutter, 9-5 structure. Secondly, the Great Resignation has empowered workers and challenged employers to attract and retain talent.  

If you want people in the office, you may need to make some changes. Today, we’ll look at a couple of unconventional, innovative workplaces and what we can learn from them.  

Before we jump in, let’s think about what people are looking for in their workplace. DB Workspace says, “many hybrid workforce employers are noticing that their physical space needs to hold value to employees. When work can be completed at home, employees need a reason to commute into the office”. For some, the prospect of professional networking or creating a more definitive divide between work and home is reason enough, but others need more; more flexibility, inclusivity, collaboration, and amenities. You could run a Pulse Survey or Custom Check to collect employee feedback on what would bring them back to the office.

Google goes all out

Take Google. While they’ve encouraged their staff to return to the office, they’ve done so in a hybrid manner with three days in the office per week, the remainder remote. Google has also designed spaces that are ready to support employees in the office. Their Pyrmont Headquarters swell with collaborative spaces, full of colour, plants and décor to promote creativity and comfort. 

Google provides breakout kitchens throughout their offices – fully stocked with coffee, tea, cereals, and snacks. This is in addition to their in-house café and cafeteria, which offers three free meals a day.  

Google’s Pyrmont Office is quite unconventional in that it offers every amenity imaginable. Pedestrian TV was wowed on their tour of the headquarters, viewing games rooms, music studios, meditation spaces, massage rooms, a library, and relaxation rooms with sleep pods and hammocks. While not all offices can afford such extensive facilities, it’s worth taking a page out of Google’s book – it’s not just cool stuff, these amenities illustrate the extent to which Google will go to ensure their workers’ satisfaction and mental wellbeing. 

Dropbox drops the ‘office’

Dropbox has done away with the term ‘office’ entirely, instead referring to their former workspaces as ‘Studios’. They’ve gone ‘virtual first’, with remote work being the primary method for individual work, and they’ve described the Studios as locations for “in-person teamwork and strengthening connections with colleagues”.  

The Dropbox team have designed their Studios around collaboration, with large, open rooms for meetings and collaboration, and ‘touch-down’ spots including libraries and cafes for individuals to meet, answer emails or jump on a call. This dynamic environment has been intentionally designed with lots of light and a “visually clean setting that supports creative work”. 

Their hybrid work model “allows for more freedom and autonomy and enables people to schedule their work around their lives instead of the opposite. This can engender trust and loyalty and combat burn-out”. In terms of hours, they’re flexible. Dropbox has implemented “core collaboration hours—blocks of time set aside for meetings that allow employees to build the rest of their schedule around their lives”. This allows employees to be people – with commitments, projects, and responsibilities – and not just cogs in a machine. Additionally, Dropbox has reallocated money saved on office space to provide substantial allowances for their employees to deck out their home offices.  

Take-home points

So what can we take away from these workplaces? Both Dropbox and Google allow and encourage their employees to be people. They convey their value and care for workers by covering basic needs and making space for collaboration. These corporations encourage creativity and back it up by providing dynamic environments for their employees which facilitate this. A hybrid working model empowers workers’ autonomy without sacrificing in-person collaboration. You may not have the budget of Dropbox or Google, but there are positive changes that can be made to better facilitate creativity and productivity in your employees.  

Not sure where to begin? Consider running a Pulse Survey! These will allow employees to state what they want out of their workplace, and you can be guided by their response. After all, it’s your workers you’re doing all this for! 

Vetting.com simplifies background screening for a quick, compliant and cost-effective process. They empower businesses to streamline their background screening process with the ability to request checks in just minutes, monitor numerous checks at a glance, and tailor check packages for different roles.

To learn more about Vetting.com and its extensive range of checks, responsive support team and easy-to-use interface, reach out to them today.

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