“It is the organisations that are using their work environment to engage with their people that are reaping the benefits,” according to Kursty Groves, Author of Spaces For Innovation and Workplace Consultant.

Workspace was the topic of conversation at a recent LexEngage event – Release the power of our work environment to supercharge our business and our people – organised by Lexington Reception Services.

The panel included Tony Pipkin, CFO, and Paul Tilley, Senior Facilities Manager, both at media communications organisation Omnicom, Mike Wingrove, Head of Facilities at the world’s largest law firm, Dentons LLP, Kursty Groves, Workplace Consultant and Author, and Julia Edmonds, Managing Director at Lexington. They concluded that decisions about work environment need to be as emotional as they are practical.

Personally I know what steps I need to take to create a more productive environment and for me the environment often depends on the task I am working on. If I’m writing then it is head down and a quiet space, free from interruptions. But if I am having a more of an ideas or pitching day I like to be around other people.

I feel very lucky because working for myself enables me to choose where I work and create a space or work in an environment that really allows me to be at my very best, one in which I can thrive in.

There was lots of talk around the future workforce at the event. Will people be working more flexibly? Will the traditional office space still exist? Paul Tilley, Senior Facilities Manager at Omnicom, pointed out the fact that many young people working for the business want to come into the office. This is partly because they are not set up to work from home but they also want to work with their team – they enjoy the social side.

The reality is that every one of us is different so an open office may work for some but not others. But the message was clear from the panel – employers need to help people connect with their work environment emotionally.

Kursty Groves, Workplace Consultant and Author of Spaces for Innovation said, “Offering your team a little flexibility and the opportunity to work in the way they want to work, when they want to work, can have huge business benefits.”

Research shows productivity increases by over 30% when employees work in an empowered environment, where they have some choice regarding their work environment and are engaged in the process of defining their workspace.

It comes back to good communication – employers who engage with their team, listen to them in order to understand what they need to be productive and empower them will create a truly productive work environment.

You can hear from some of the panelists at Lexington’s LexEngage event…