The Growing Role of Office Space in Business Success

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By Dan Adamski, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle

Today’s leading businesses are rethinking their workplace strategies. Companies are looking to design and occupy spaces that better reflect and serve end goals. This post is the second in a series based on newly released research from JLL’s Workplace Strategy team on trending changes in office space. 

It’s true that workplace strategy has circled back to the forefront of discussion, bringing with it a call to innovate and re-think the ways in which we operate.

What if you could support the growth of your business and at the same time improve your employees’ overall happiness, and subsequent loyalty, with just a few operational changes? Research suggests that the key may lie in efforts made to create the space your employees need to succeed.

As you begin to evaluate how your workspace could transform, consider all of the benefits of doing so. Below, I’ve outlined four concepts to consider as you think about the role your physical workspace plays in ongoing business growth—all based on JLL’s latest white paper: Workplace Strategy’s Transformative Role.

4 Ways Your Workplace Impacts Business Objectives & Employee Productivity 

1. Build a Foundation For Your Culture

Jones Lang Lasalle

Modular design within the JLL office.

Workspace environment sets the tone for the level of professionalism and formality expected from company employees. It also speaks volumes about your company brand.

Everything from the design, amenities and layout can impact perception and daily workflow. Below are just a few details that impact the growth and proliferation of your culture.

  • Floor Plan: Open floor plans can encourage discussion and collaboration, while more closed off office spaces can encourage strict productivity.
  • Additional Amenities: Does your building include employee-only properties, like a gym or café? These amenities can be built into your work / life balance program or outlook.
  • Location: Your office location contributes to workplace culture. For example, a downtown office may house a fast-paced, young workforce.

A strong culture will not only contribute to client or customer retention, but also employee retention. It builds internal loyalty, and subsequently bonds employees to your business. As JLL research states, the right people and the right technology in the right place can be the ultimate mix for innovation.

2. Advance Employee Performance

Company culture will impact overall levels of productivity and efficiency. Those who identify with the business on a personal level will likely produce better (and more) work. However, aside from culture, it’s key to foster a workplace that encourages both individual and team productivity. From the Workplace Strategy team:

“In addition to providing spaces that support quiet or confidential work, workplace must also support virtual, informal/social and formal collaboration. In doing so, workplace can drive cross-pollination of ideas, employee engagement and foster a sense of community, which can serve to strengthen a company’s culture.” 

Is your business functioning at high productivity levels? It’s a difficult metric to measure. We suggest focusing on several key characteristics of current operations to see where processes could improve. First, ensure that supply is aligned with overall demand. A discrepancy will be an obvious clue to low productivity. Next, observe channel information flow. Are your employees responsive to customer needs? We also suggest that employers take inventory of perceived productivity versus actual productivity.

Visit JLL’s infographic Measuring Workplace Productivity for details. 

3. Enable Future Growth 

A quality workspace encourages growth opportunities and is flexible to change. When choosing a space, observe surrounding options that would allow for expansion. Otherwise, your space may be the main obstacle to advancement.

We recommend future-proofing your space. Future-proofing (as defined in JLL’s Future-Proof Your Workplace) is, “the process of anticipating future developments and activating solutions in order to seize opportunities and minimize possible negative consequences.” One way to future-proof is to identify probable changes and proactively prepare.

A reactive strategy can be costly. Take a look at industry trends and best practices. What’s working well for others may also work well for your long-term strategy. 

4. Grow Your Bottom-Line

A tactical workplace strategy can influence company productivity, employee retention, internal culture, and eventually, your bottom-line. Specifically, the trending workplace strategy deemed the “membership model,” in which space is allocated by activity (e.g. team versus individual) has historically benefited businesses in many ways, including:

  • Smarter and more cost-effective utilization of space
  • Increased engagement of workforce
  • Lower per person costs
  • An active environment for ideas and innovation

With the right strategic guidance, a workplace is a valuable asset to ongoing growth and innovation.

Download the full white paper, Workplace Strategy’s Transformative Role, or visit the next post in the workplace strategy series to learn how to implement “proworking” in your office.

Are you rethinking your workplace strategy? Contact me for more information at 

About the Author 

Dan AdamskiAs Managing Director in JLL’s Tenant Representation Group,  Dan is responsible for all client requirements in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He specializes in Tenant Representation. View Dan’s full bio to read up on his experience.