25th Sep 2020

How Does Workplace Consultancy Inform a Learning-Focused Office Design?

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Learning at work drives performance boosts career progression and gives meaning and purpose to peoples’ working lives.

A 2018 eLearning report found that 94% of employees would consider training and development as one of the key reasons to stay in a role for longer. The obvious bonus for the business here being less resource spent on finding new talent…

But why do people like learning at work so much?

Well, the Human Givens model suggests that competence and achievement are two of the fundamental emotional needs that all human beings must meet to live happy and healthy lives.

Of course, we all want to feel that we have what it takes to achieve our goals, and the process of learning new skills is a huge factor in this. Cue workplace training.

And why is it good for business then?

An IBM study showed that a whopping 84% of employees from the best performing organisations receive the training they need. This is compared to just 16% in the worst-performing companies. Enough said.

So how do you ensure your workplace is equipped for your learning needs?

It’s all about understanding your company’s specific needs! One way to get this nailed is with a workplace consultant. They’ll work with you to understand your people’s learning needs first, then ensure this is incorporated into your office design or fit out. This may include layout changes, creating spaces for collaboration, or introducing workplace technology to connect people in multiple locations.

So now we know why it’s great for your business and your people, let’s look at five ways to create an office designed to encourage workplace learning…

1. Prioritise learning

This one is simple – give your people the time to dedicate to any sort of professional development they’re enrolled on.

Encourage them to set aside time in their calendar to focus on progressing through their course. And talk about what lies ahead for them when they’ve completed it.

This will help to build a workplace culture where learning is portrayed as a priority and something that actively helps people with career progression.

In terms of your company’s built environment, this could mean creating spaces where people can do to focus on their own. You could also create tech-enabled spaces where individuals can connect with others also learning the same skills, either virtually or in person.

2. Set the example

Learning never stops, even at a senior level. You learn something new every day and all that jazz!

So if you’re a manager or leader in your business, set an example to your wider team. You could share your own learning experiences to help with this.

For example, if people in your business are working towards a qualification you already have, reach out to see if they’ve got any questions.

Yes, it may take time out of your day, but this can motivate and inspire people by showing them what they’re working towards.

In the built environment this could be facilitated through technology alone. Or even better, by creating agile meeting spaces where management can present in person or by dialling in (or out!) of the space and screen-sharing so others can benefit from their knowledge.

3. Internal coaching

An internal coaching scheme can provide people with an extra level of support alongside more ‘formal’ professional development programmes.

Coaches can act as the point of contact for open and honest discussions about a person’s future at the company, including any training or development programmes that they’d like to do.

An added benefit is that it connects employees at different levels of the business that may not otherwise get to interact very often. Learning can happen two ways in this situation – so less senior team members learn from their superiors and vice versa.

4. Recognise success

A good way to let your employees know that you appreciate their efforts is to track their progress and reward success.

This could take the form of an early finish, a team trip out somewhere, or even a pay rise if you’re in a position to give one. It could also be a simple as a nice email saying well done – just be sure to praise achievement as and when it happens!

5. Collaborate

Did you know that people often retain information better after explaining it to someone else?

To facilitate this at your own workplace you need to create a community where people are open to sharing knowledge. Feeling part of a community is good for wellbeing too – essential if you’re to create a happy and healthy workplace.

In our own team we’re fans of getting team members to share what they’ve learned by creating presentations for the rest of us. It means we all benefit when someone in the learns new skills.

We’ve written more about creating a collaborative workplace culture in this blog.

Create a workspace to encourage learning

For more personalised advice on how your workspace could help your team build a culture where people are inspired to learn, get in touch with our team of workplace consultants.


Rob Day

Chairman & Founder