A few years ago, an interesting experiment was conducted in Britain by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy. Seven hundred randomly chosen workers were either showed a 10-minute comedy clip or provided with snacks and drinks. Then they were quizzed on their state of mind, and thereafter they were given tasks to measure their productivity at that point. The study showed a 12% increase in their productivity, and in some cases it reached as high as 20%. Dr. Daniel Sgroi, the author of the report, noted that even a rise of 3% in employee productivity could have a significant effect on the GDP.
Yet another study by the Employee Motivation & Performance Assessment, Inc. (EMPA), Michigan, USA, says that highly engaged employees were more likely to demonstrate above-average productivity levels of around 38–40%.
More interestingly, there are researches around the world which relate employee satisfaction and happiness with a direct impact on sales activities. Happier employees miss office less, give more positive responses to customer needs and hence drive higher sales. While employee happiness is not measurable in exact indices, the fact that they can add to sales certainly indicates an increased economic activity. Happy teams generate more sales, and actual numbers have been put to this increase in sales- up to 37%! Clearly, happy employees stand to be the drivers of productivity and hence, economic growth.
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But what makes the employees happy? Is it merely a rise in salary or promises? Or the carrot and stick method which entails negative reviews and a critical boss?
Some issues that make an employee happy are – being a part of the bigger picture, having a productive leader, getting recognition and appreciation, and of course getting a sense of ownership and a clear career roadmap! A huge part of this motivation is providing happy, well designed working spaces that add value to the employees’ experience of working as well as the resources objective of the enterprise.
Conducive workspaces take the lead in the happiness quotient of employees. With a higher productivity, more interest in the well-being of the company and definitely more interest in the growth of the brand, employees that get better workplaces with more facilities, tend to perform better. This has been the stand that HR professionals have known for years, but with these studies, now there is a number to the satisfaction and hence increased productivity.
The co-working trend at the workplace is now seen as a vibrant space that could drive a dynamic culture of team productivity. The resultant positive vibes impact the financial, cultural and environmental ethos of any organization. Leveraging the happy workplace culture is a tremendous value add for enterprises to provide a more than conducive work environment for its employees. And, to that end, enterprises recognize that their workplace needs to be managed and optimized for their own growth and development.
Co-working spaces with scientifically designed layouts add to the mental well-being of employees. Working in collaboration, without the burden of a traditional office environment with its limitations and often, lack of space, is a big cause for lower attrition as well.
And when on collaboration, shared workspaces give more opportunity to work with horizontal allies- maybe even learn newer skills, and of course, network better. The fact that it gives employees more freedom to showcase their productivity, always adds to the baseline performance. Coupled with opportunities for more business, shared spaces and shared business objectives- the ways to grow together are wide and varied.
There would not be an obvious benefit upfront but employee satisfaction, happiness and hence productivity, stems largely from being considered an asset rather than a liability. What better way for companies to prove this, than providing them with working spaces that offer amenities and facilities that bely a traditional, walled-in office.
There is ample scope for a much higher productivity in a co-working space. There on, it is obvious that higher productivity for even small teams, adds to a faster growth for companies and ultimately, an increase in economic indices. Increased sales, higher production and faster growth of companies will ultimately be a collective step forward for the economy as a whole. This is how a conducive work space adds value to the economic conditions and finally, the GDP of a country.