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Workplace of the Future


Trends in Small Business Employee Satisfaction

workplace of the futureWith the increasing popularity of telecommuting, some positive aspects of workplace culture are getting lost according a Colliers International a global workplace trend report titled, “5 Shifts Companies Must Make in the Next 5 Years” As employers look to the future, they will need to be more cognizant of encouraging employees to “want” to work in the office rather than doing so just because the boss says so. Employers will need to play up the benefits of office time like increased collaboration, mentoring, skill-building and incentives for task completion.

These rewards will need to outweigh the currently perceived benefits of working from home like reduced commute, relaxed dress code and flexible schedules. Quite often, the telecommuter may be avoiding the office because of productivity thieves like day-long meetings and gossipy co-workers. To combat these office bummers, employers will have to get creative with options like flexible work schedules and choose-your-cubbie situations.

Local family law attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler already offers many employee benefits that keep her office running smoothly but she is always on the lookout for ways to avoid productivity losses like those proposed in the interesting report from Colliers International, “5 Shifts Companies Must Make in the Next 5 Years”

Make the workplace fun

The Colliers report offers suggestions such as giving the office a campus or neighborhood feel. For smaller businesses, the professional building of the future might feature a shared common benefits between multiple offices. This could be as simple as a coffee bar or courtyard or more involved like coordinating multi-company family picnics or team-building exercises.

Reduce friction and remove barriers

Two of the biggest efficiency killers in the workplace are technology mishaps and personal errands according to the Colliers report. As far as technology goes, small companies are increasingly looking to IT service providers that provide on-call tech support for employees. There are local IT services that can set up network servers and help small businesses resolve their day-to-day connectivity issues that sometimes derail productivity.

Colliers suggests that large companies might employ a concierge to handle such personal tasks as scheduling car maintenance and buying plane tickets. For smaller companies, creative cooperation might help all employees concentrate on their work. Perhaps a shared dry-cleaning or post-office run or combined Purple Heart pickup. Maybe it’s as simple as adding employees’ school shopping purchases into a Staples delivery. Giving employees access to the company’s network of trusted colleagues may save them time when looking for services such as:

All the comforts of home

When it comes to comfort, it’s tough to compete with working from home – fuzzy slippers and grilled cheese sandwiches. The office of the future strives to do just that however. Companies are investing in advanced, technologically-interactive ergonomic features. Think of computer screens that use facial recognition to read your mood and adjust your lighting accordingly. Everything from heating and cooling to furniture and floor coverings will be designed with optimal comfort and adaptability in mind. With the speed of technological advances, the creative, bargain-hunting small business owner might grab the recently-retired items as bigger businesses experience quick technology turnover. Some small offices may also be at an advantage when it comes to personalization of environment because employees typically have more control of their temperature, access to food and less red-tape when it comes to handling personal emergencies.

Employee Health

Health and wellness is a hot-button item according to the Colliers workplace report. Health problems related to obesity, depression and stress result in massive work absences and decreased productivity. Going forward, companies hope to thwart these problems with offers of Fitbits, counseling, and scheduled mental health breaks. A win-win option is to offer employees rewards like massages, health club memberships or nutritional supplement programs that work as incentives in addition to improving health and welfare.

Social Environment

Employers of the future will need to be aware of the importance of the social environment at the office. And one of the top ways to do that is hiring people that get along. It’s such a simple concept yet so essential to fulfillment and job satisfaction. Having pleasant, intelligent, respectful and fun co-workers can make even the most grueling of weeks seem more rewarding.

Attorney Kathryn Wayne-SpindlerMilford, Michigan family law attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler is ahead of her time on that front. She subscribes whole-heartedly to the philosophy of productivity stemming from positive office interactions. Her office thrives because everyone wants to be there and supports each other through triumphs and mistakes. “I have found that surrounding myself with the right personalities keeps me going in this high-pressure, high-stress line of work,” said Attorney Wayne-Spindler.

One of her strategies – hire friends. “I know that goes against common advice, but for me it works,” said Wayne-Spindler. She’s tried the traditional hiring process but finds that a piece of paper and a half-hour synthetic conversation aren’t enough to decide if she’s going to be happy spending most of her waking hours with someone. “It would be like marrying someone based on one blind date,” she said.

When hiring, Wayne-Spindler says she not only looks at job qualifications and training but also the person’s sense of humor, ability to roll with change and self-motivation. “We are so busy I can’t be micro-managing my colleagues. I am grateful to be surrounded by talented people that thrive when I give a little basic direction and then let them do what they do best.”

Oakland County Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler strives to make her workplace as productive as possible and enjoys staying up on research like the Colliers report. For help with family law matters in Oakland, Wayne, Washentaw, Livingston or Genesee county contact the Milford, Michigan office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000. The experienced attorneys handle cases throughout Southeastern Michigan including Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Commerce; Walled Lake; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Howell; Canton; South Lyon; New Hudson; Grand Blanc; Holly and many more local communities.

Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long, Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates