Why SMEs should pay more attention to their office space

New research suggests that many small businesses are not taking advantage of their office space and this could in turn be impacting upon their ability to attract and retain staff.

The warning comes from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), whose research discovered that more than a third of employees are unhappy with the space in which they work.This increases the likelihood that staff are going to be unproductive which could impact upon sales volumes and even business finances.

Issues relating to workspaces were found to have a huge impact upon recruitment processes, as 93% of employees who work indoors suggest that the state of property would impact their decision of whether to accept a role.

Only ‘pay’ and ‘people’ were deemed to be more important when mulling over whether to accept a new job, highlighting the importance of office space for smaller firms.

It outranked progression opportunities, company culture and staff benefits in a list of key factors that influence the decision making process.

Having good quality office space also plays a pivotal role in staff retention according to the RICS’ research.

Four fifths of respondents said the office space they work in impacts upon whether they would stay in their current job, while 88% said it influences overall job satisfaction.

With competition for the best talent increasing every day, businesses need to look for new ways of attracting and keeping their star employees.

Failing to do so could impact upon the company financially, especially if the recruitment process of hiring replacement staff costs more than anticipated.

For smaller firms, it can be very easy to overspend and this can leave them requiring business recovery methods in the most severe circumstances.

The RICS report suggests that many firm may not be realising the importance of their office space and of the impacts it can have on staff motivation and productivity.

Having lots of natural light as well as good heating, kitchen facilities and security, were also listed by employees as factors which would make them appreciate their workspace.

Having a clean, well-maintained and inspiring office could therefore have many benefits for small businesses and could potentially even add value to a company in the long term.

By Phil Smith

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