The optimal office has the power to transform businesses and the Irish economy

In recent years, evolving employee preferences and changing office dynamics have had an impact on the productivity and business performance of Irish companies and their workforces. The time to address this issue is now and the solution has never been clearer.

According to a piece of research that we conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics, the optimal office could unlock €3.4 billion in untapped GDP for Ireland by helping to empower and enable employees across the country.

The optimal office incorporates everything that impacts on the effectiveness of a workplace across the areas of culture (business practices and ethics), workspace (office design and furnishings) and technology (equipment and ways of working) – and when these come together in perfect harmony, it is the people that excel and the economy that benefits.

Regardless of the size of the company and the industry in which it operates, people are at the heart of every single organisation, which is why it is vital that employees and employers recognise and agree on the elements that drive productivity in the workplace.

In order to find out how businesses in Ireland can unlock their full potential, employees and employers were asked to give their perspective on what supports output in their organisation across the three main areas of culture, workspace and technology.

Here is what they said…

Office environment is essential

Among employees, the workstation is viewed as essential to productivity, with the other leading factors cited as office environment and collaborative spaces. While business leaders also appreciate the importance of office environment on business performance, there did appear to be a gap when it came to workstations, perhaps suggesting that employers need to reassess the layout and design of employees’ personal space to help them reach their potential and take advantage of the opportunity to boost business productivity and revenue.
Mobile working is a must
While having a fixed location was found to be a driver of performance and output, the research also explored the concept of mobile working, which continues to grow in popularity and is cited by workers as the key to efficiency. In light of this and the fact that companies are often spread across various locations and time zones nowadays, it is positive that over half of bosses feel they provide the necessary tools to assist remote working.

Technology is the ticket

Irish employees rate the improvement of technology as having the greatest impact on the amount of time they spend at work, how they collaborate with colleagues and those outside the organisation, and the generation of creative ideas. This shows how employers can use bespoke workstyles and digital transformation to enable and inspire employees through technology – from infrastructure that enables easy access, to processes such as the digitisation of information.

Ethics are key to effectiveness

Increasingly, the ethics and values of a company are having an impact on Irish workers in terms of their efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. This is something that is already recognised by business executives, hence why more organisations are focusing on transparent and sustainable approaches. The study confirms therefore that culture truly is the foundation of a company in terms of engagement and motivation as well as creative-thinking and innovation.

At Ricoh Ireland, we actively help organisations to gain a better understanding of their people and the way in which they work. By addressing the issue of productivity – including the drivers that enhance business output, aid employee wellbeing, encourage innovation and establish trust – Irish companies could not only take charge of their own growth path but reshape the trajectory of the Irish economy.

To download your copy of our report, The Economy of People, fill in the form to the right (or below if you’re on mobile).

Gary Hopwood

Managing Director At Ricoh UK & Ireland

Read all articles by Gary Hopwood