The UK is facing a jobs crisis. Vacancies are at an all-time high and talent recruitment and retention have become a major challenge.

Jitesh Patel

Jitesh Patel

The ‘Great Resignation’ has truly taken hold of the UK’s business sector, and it is vital that companies look to combat its effects. Our Powered by People report has cast light on several solutions, which all centre on having a clear understanding of your people.

The physical embodiment of this understanding lies within the workplace, and this gives business leaders an opportunity to act in a tangible and impactful way. Collating research from both the workforce and the wider C-suite, the report found that 70% of employees feel their employers need to do more to improve office space in order to entice them back to work, and more than half (55%) believe that the quality of a workplace would influence their job choice.

This shows that despite hybrid working becoming the norm, the office still has a major influence on business performance and staff retention.

A positive culture is the backbone of any organisation. If nurtured properly, it helps to motivate and engage teams, contributing towards their overall happiness and wellbeing.


Source: Shutterstock / pcruciatti

So, how can businesses foster a positive culture? While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, a workspace is the physical expression of a company’s culture and should represent its values and ethos. This can help instil pride in employees for their employer.

Elements of culture

While on its own the office will not define or create company culture, its design can reflect the elements of culture that matter to a business. It is time leaders realised the true power that the office has in demonstrating what your business stands for, both to potential and existing talent.

The report shows the top two elements of office working that teams have missed most over the past 18 months are socialising with colleagues and having a distinction between work and home.

Dedicated spaces within the office that allow people to switch off provide a perfect solution, particularly in high-pressure industries. From their homes, many employees may have had easier access to physical activities during the day, such as home workouts or local lunchtime runs, which are proven to improve mood and health.

Offices can provide these same benefits through the integration of specific spaces for movement, while amenities that encourage a more active work life – such as bike sheds or shower facilities – make it easier for staff to include exercise in their daily routine.

A strong focus on wellbeing can really help businesses in the battle for recruitment and retention. Many prospective employees have wellbeing at the top of their list of requirements and will gravitate towards companies that put their team’s health front and centre.

It is clear that understanding your people is key. Providing them with a unique and engaging physical environment – tailored to them and the wider business aspirations – is a tangible representation of this understanding.

When looking at the workspace then, it is imperative to ensure the right facilities, amenities and design features are implemented. The onus is now on business leaders to provide spaces that embody what their organisation stands for. Only then will they come out on top in the battle to recruit and retain the best talent.

Jitesh Patel is chief executive of Peldon Rose