With the great resignation happening and so many different businesses looking for new recruits since Covid-19 began, how can you make sure that your business not only attracts new talent, but retains the talent it already has?

Forward-thinking businesses are starting to use the power of a good office design to attract and retain employees. Many modern designs now focus on improving employee engagement and productivity through optimising collaboration, efficiency, and focus. After all, offices designed to create a happier and more engaged workspace are part of the secret to attracting new talent and keeping team members’ long term.

In this article, we will be exploring the hacks to great office design that attracts and helps retain talent.

What are candidates looking for in a good office environment?

67% of recruiters have said it’s harder than ever to find top talent as candidates have higher expectations of office life. When interviewing new staff, the office is what will leave one of the strongest first impressions - so it needs to look inviting! Welcoming new talent to an office that has frayed and dated looking furniture, uninspiring blank walls, stained carpets, (you get the idea), can easily put a candidate off.

According to a survey by Dale Office Interiors, “office chill out zones” are most likely to attract young talent to work for a company. The survey found that over a third of 18-to-19-year-olds would favour a job that offered ‘chill out zones’, with a further quarter reporting that open-plan spaces were also an attractive option.

Predictions have already shown that millennials aged between 22 and 37 will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025, while Generation Z (age group after millennials) will be beginning to enter the job market, therefore it’s important to pay attention now to what these age groups look for in order to be able to recruit and retain young staff.

So, what are candidates looking for right now?

  • An office environment that offers flexibility and ability to work remotely
  • Continuous learning and career pathways
  • Empathy and understanding to employee health and wellbeing
  • A highly personalised working environment
  • An inspiring working environment with plenty of natural light, clean air and a connection to nature.

So, read on to see the must-haves to support what candidates are looking for.

office interview
1.  Hybrid workspaces to attract and retain talent

Now you know what potential talent look for, it’s all about how to implement it. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, it shifted our habits and working patterns adjusting to a ‘new normal’. Businesses had to adapt and embrace the appeal of hybrid working and now it seems there is no turning back as new talent expects a much more agile workspace as a given.

Hybrid offices are designed to be flexible and easily adaptable, meaning that more collaborative activities will take place in the office whilst individual work that requires more focus will take place at home. Many employees reported higher productivity when working from home and that they were able to enjoy a better work-life balance. Hybrid working is here to stay.

Office furniture that would suit a hybrid office include:

  • Scott Meeting Pod: An acoustic pod made from carefully selected materials offering optimum sound absorption. The Scott Meeting Pod can house 2-4 people and is perfect for creating a separate private space for meetings to go-ahead.
  • SoundRoom: An innovative system of acoustic office furniture dedicated to open-plan office layouts as it provides an area for teamwork and collaborative meetings.
  • Wolfe: Our four height-adjustable Wolfe desk is versatile and futureproof for the changing demands in a growing workforce. With the telescopic frame, the Wolfe desk can easily be adjusted to create more or less spaces by simply changing the tops.
Wolfe height-adjustable desk
2. Adding home comforts to an office space to attract and retain talent

For the past two years, employees have become increasingly more comfortable working from home, and so for some, going back into the office can feel daunting. Therefore, its important to create an office environment that is inviting so employees will want to come in and not just because they have to.

This can be achieved by implementing more ‘homely’ elements into the office interior design. An example would be creating areas for some relaxation for employees to retreat to during their breaks. Some home-like perks that are often provided by employers include comfy sofas, lounge areas, recreational game areas, a cafe, and sometimes a gym.

Some office furniture we provide that will help to create the homely vibe in an office space include:

  • Sona: An ideal solution for creating quiet islands in large open-space offices. It has the additional benefit of media ports for connecting and charging mobile devices and can serve as a rest-zone for those who need it.
  • Mishell Soft: Nothing screams cosy more than the Mishell Soft thanks to its additional extremely soft quilted layer on the seat. The Mishell Soft is designed to provide that extra comfort that new talent looks for when coming into the office.
  • Rosco: A collection of modular sofas, armchairs and pouffes, the Rosco provides comfortable back support and can be freely rearranged. This collection comes with a coffee table with a similar design, so that employees can relax and put down their coffee, just like they would at home.
rosco soft seating
 3. Smart technology in the office attracts talent

Transforming your office space into a ‘smart’ environment is one of the best ways to attract young, hip, and creative talents. The Generation Z like to be constantly connected and have vested an interest in a sustainable future. Smart offices appeal to these modern ideals. Employees can use apps that help them to locate colleagues, find spare desks, request help from the IT department, adapt the lighting, open and close their lockers without having to use their hands, and much more.

The younger generation (like Generation Z) are much more likely to adapt to smart buildings and will be impressed by the new technology so it’s a great way to attract new talent.

At Haiken, we recommend starting with trying out our smart locker storage systems such as our Brunel Smart Locker, an intuitive and user-friendly system that can hold valuables secure, it is easily integrated with other systems and built with newest software solutions. Our power modules are also a practical yet vital piece of office technology, for employees to easily access USB and regular charging ports for their laptops, phones or tablets.

smart locker brunel
4. Biophilia and natural light in the office environment attracts and retains talent

An office design that supports wellbeing is a top priority for the majority of employees and potential candidates. A combination of natural light and biophilic elements can do wonders for improving wellbeing and general morale around the office.

Brighter office spaces are not only energising but they also help to reduce eyestrain and potential headaches. Large windows that allow natural light in is important for good health, especially if office furniture is carefully placed so that they can reap from the benefits. Individual desk lights are also a good idea to enhance visibility during the darker months. Open plan offices are ideal to let the natural light flood in. The downside to open plan offices can be the noise, however with some sound absorbing solutions the focus can be restored quickly.

Additionally, by implementing biophilic elements around the office such as plants, water elements, stone, and wood materials employees will feel more connected with the outside world, which is proven to be great for health and improving work performance.

To add some biophilia to the office, we recommend our Zorla, a mobile floor screen with sound absorbing effects where the top wooden box can be filled with natural or fake plants to create a decorative piece of furniture.


zorla planter acoustic furniture
5. Office branding and design

Lastly, the importance of office branding should never be under-estimated. The people that work for your brand want to be proud to be working there. Having prominent and clear branding throughout the office space, can build trust in a brand and create a positive emotional connection with your company. It also helps to attract new talent as it shows the company has a solid and consistent brand.

By having office branding around the workplace such as the logo, core values and mission on the walls and using your brand’s colour scheme, can help reinforce a company’s identity and make staff feel a part of something where everyone has a shared purpose.

Office furniture from Haiken to attract and retain talent

At Haiken we know that an office space can contribute a lot to how a business grows and succeeds. It needs to look inviting in order to attract new talent, as well as to retain the talent it already has.

If you need some advice on on how to create a more flexible and attractive workspace, contact us today and we will be happy to help find the perfect solution for your office.