The UK’s economic recovery since the recession has led to a greater focus from companies on talent attraction and retention.

One study has pointed to an equal effect of work environment and salary on employees’ job satisfaction.[1] Rather than the cubicled, drab rooms found in sitcom The Office, or in many representations in popular culture for that matter, some employees are looking for offices that are technologically equipped with collaborative work zones and break-out areas that foster knowledge-sharing and interaction. 41 percent of those surveyed in one study said they preferred access to team space, while 32 percent were in favour of breakout spaces rather than a conventional meeting room.[2]

Condeco Software, a growing company in workspace utilisation and scheduling, posed to HRreview that unproductive meetings cost businesses $37bn (£24bn) every year[3] and much of this is due to no-shows, double-booking and something called “sharking” – waiting outside meeting rooms for the to become available. This has a negative impact on productivity and motivation, the company holds.

Company CEO, Paul Statham, said: “People are the lifeblood of any organisation and attracting and retaining talented professionals is a number one priority for companies that aspire to be competitive under stiff competition. In the 21st century office, booking the right space for the employee  and ensuring what is needed for each meeting, from catering to audio-visual and video-conferencing equipment can no longer be an arduous task.

“The office of the future is here already. The way people interact with their office space has shifted fundamentally and is becoming key in the post-recession era. Securing and retaining good quality staff is becoming equally important for businesses as saving money. By providing the ability to schedule what you need when you need it, companies enable their staff to have a seamless experience in the workspace. Businesses can no longer provide staff with allocated desks and computers and expect them to perform their best. Collaborative spaces, breakout areas and the availability of technological solutions that save time and simplify tasks can be vital drivers for boosting staff morale and can make a real difference in improving employee job satisfaction.

“Imagine an office where staff has to psychically check if a meeting room or a desk is available or where important meetings with clients and partners take place in corridors or in the café next doors because meeting rooms are double-booked. This is hardly the ideal workspace for today’s tech-savvy and mobile professionals who value user interfaces. Businesses need to take the next step and up the level of service and product offering they provide to their staff if they want to remain on the front foot of staff attraction, retention and productivity. With technology fast transforming the way we work and experience our office, businesses can no longer run on a steam train.”

Double-booked meeting rooms and reduced staff morale – certainly not a connection we’d made before.








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Tom Phelan is an assistant editor at HRreview. Prior to this position, Tom was a staff writer at ITProPortal, where he travelled the globe in pursuit of the latest tech developments. He also writes for a variety of music blogs.