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Study reveals workplace guardians are key to boosting productivity and wellbeing

Businesses should adopt teams of ‘workplace guardians’ to curate work spaces that support employee wellbeing and overall business performance, according to Interserve.

The findings come as part of a new study ‘Designing and delivering effective workplace experiences – a practical guide, which is being developed as part of a two-year research project by Interserve with workplace consultants, Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), into the science behind successful working environments.

The study calls on businesses to shift their focus away from functional issues, such as cost per square metre, and towards the productivity boost that can be delivered through well-designed work spaces which engage employees and make them feel valued.

Interserve’s report sets out a six-stage programme for businesses to create effective workplace experiences which it says should be led by a team of experienced workplace coordinators or ‘guardians’ – a process that sees workplaces shaped by employees, for employees.

The six stages outlined in the study include: developing a workplace brief that aligns with wider business objectives, brand and personality; synthesising ideas from a team of technical, business and creative specialists; mapping people’s interactions with the wider work environment; developing a detailed design specification; honing solutions to create a joined-up experience; and managing the workplace experience over time.

Jeff Flanagan, managing director – commercial at Interserve, said:

“There is a growing appreciation in business of the role the workplace plays in boosting business productivity. A widespread discussion has seen the working environment repositioned as not simply a necessary cost, but as a tool to drive commercial success.

“Real progress, however, relies on the practical application of these ideas. Our report sets out a clearly-defined series of steps that businesses need to take to create high-performance workplaces. Our research shows that having the right people in place to lead this process is critical and companies should establish dedicated teams, with help from external partners where necessary, to guide the transition.”


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