Story image

Can a hip workplace get you the right people?

11 May 2015

From Google to Apple to Facebook, the big tech giants across the globe are known for their innovative, alternative workspaces, and more and more companies are replicating them.

But do these alternative workspaces have the desired impact on employee productivity, performance and retention? According to recruiting company Hays, the answer depends on an organisation’s culture.

“The technology sector is known for its cool, convention-defying offices,” explains Christine Wright, managing director of Hays Asia.

“For example Google in Zurich has a slide between floors, Facebook in Menlo Park has a sweet shop, and Twitter in San Francisco has a yoga room. These trendy tech businesses have attracted talent through their exciting work environments.”

While they may be luxurious places to work, those same workplaces in other sectors can become a distraction to employees and fail to have a positive impact, Wright says. “Architects may get an opportunity to design a ‘cool’ workspace, but do you really need bean bags, a rooftop bar, nap pods or chill zones to engage your organisation’s ‘big kids’ into better, more productive work?”

She continues, “When working with employers on their candidate attraction strategy, we remind them that their office environment is more than just the furnishings. It’s about communicating to candidates the reality of working at your organization.”

Hays points out that a rejuvenated environment can make a big difference to the way an organisation goes to work - provided it is reflective of an effective cultural change. However, when a new coat of paint is only covering the cracks in your people management strategy, the results won’t be so successful and turnover will not be reduced.

“It is your culture and your unique way of operating that will retain your top performers,” explains Wright. “So before signing up for an in-house bowling alley, it pays to remember that any environment needs to reflect the culture of the organisation, as well as enhance it.”

She adds, “After all, that’s what makes the pioneers in this area stand out – Google and Facebook had the culture before the office. A colourful, engaging, welcoming workplace is undoubtedly a fantastic HR tool, but it needs to ring true, or it will only ever be a new coat of paint.”

Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.
GoCardless to double A/NZ team by end of year
With a successful E round of investment and continuing organic growth globally, the debit network platform company aims to expand its local presence.
NZ’s Maori innovators are on the rise
“More iwi investors need to recognise that these sectors will provide the high-value jobs our children need."
Phone ringing? This biohack wants you to bite down and ChewIt
So your phone’s ringing, but instead of swiping right or pushing a Bluetooth button you bite down on a tiny piece of tech that sits in your mouth.
How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.