Is your government agency struggling to attract and retain workers? Many are. A contributing factor to this issue may be that your workspace is outdated.
The days of open office design are fading fast. Today’s workers want workspaces designed for various tasks, including solitary and group work. Workers also recognize the need to detach from work and take breaks throughout the day. Yet, most government buildings aren’t designed for this.
Let’s discuss how modular construction can help government agencies quickly add space to their existing facilities to meet the needs of the younger workforce. But first, let’s look at why workers need these specific spaces.
Break rooms are important because workers need to recharge, have some downtime, and move physically. Breaks aren’t just a legal requirement; they also improve productivity and reduce burnout. In fact, a 2014 study by Staples found that nearly 60% of those surveyed said that a well-stocked and comfortable break room encouraged them to take these much-needed breathers, and 76% said that break rooms would allow them to unwind and relieve stress.
Government employees often work in high-stress situations. Three of the top five most stressful jobs are government-related (military, firefighter, and police officer). Break rooms can encourage these workers to unwind, preventing a buildup of stress and potential burnout. Breaks improve employee effectiveness and satisfaction, lessen strain and fatigue, and reduce stress-related business costs. Disconnecting, even for a few minutes, can transform your workers’ energy and attitudes.
Collaboration spaces are areas specially allocated for small or large groups to gather. A huddle space can accommodate a small group and usually has a table, chairs, a large touchscreen, and a camera to connect with remote workers. Meanwhile, a more traditional conference room contains multiple displays, cameras, microphones, and light controls.
With the rise of remote workers, maintaining a connection with the office has become more critical than ever. Government teams don’t always work in the same building anymore, so they must be able to collaborate through technology. In addition, collaboration benefits teams and workers by improving engagement, efficiency, and productivity and reducing travel costs.
The recent trend in office design has embraced the open office layout. Now, younger workers are pushing back, requesting quiet areas to perform their work. More than 60% of full-time employees between the ages of 22 and 40 prefer to work in a private or home office. With this in mind, open office layouts have been replaced by activity-based workplace design. This design philosophy prioritizes space flexibility and privacy, allowing workers to choose where they want to work throughout the day as their needs change.
To remain competitive in the job market, government agencies need to embrace the needs of their workers. Many workers prefer private, quiet areas to do their work, especially when the work requires detailed concentration. While both quiet areas and open offices have their purpose, providing workers a choice in where they work will improve performance and help teams retain employees.
Gyms and Stretching Areas
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three adults get the recommended amount of exercise each week, and more than 80% don’t meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Workers can easily spend eight hours sitting in a chair in front of a screen. Sitting this much isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s so bad that now sitting is considered “the new smoking” because of its detrimental health effects.
Gyms and other exercise or stretching areas provide a way for employees to get necessary activity without joining a gym or leaving the workplace. Exercising has been proven to relieve stress, improve heart health, increase productivity, and prevent illness.
Providing the space and equipment for employees to work out is a perk that can help attract younger workers. With the demands of work and family, many don’t have time to add a commitment to exercise. By allowing them to work out during the workday, agencies can provide the flexibility many workers desire.
Adapting to the Workplace’s Changing Needs
Providing a variety of workspaces and allowing workers to choose where they work throughout the day is a new trend in workplace design. Government agencies that want to attract and retain the best and brightest of the younger generations need to adapt to this trend. The good news is employers benefit as well, as workers are generally happier and more productive.
Break rooms provide an opportunity for workers to recharge, stretch, and socialize with their peers. Collaboration spaces provide the infrastructure for both small and large group work, connecting teams even when they are working remotely. Quiet workspaces help workers concentrate on detailed tasks without interruption. Gyms and stretching areas allow workers to exercise during the workday to help keep their outside commitments to friends and family.
How Modular Construction Can Help
Modular construction offers a fast and economical way for governments to respond to changing workspace needs. Agencies can add space in approximately half the time as traditional construction and save 20 to 30% on construction costs. The flexibility of modular construction allows agencies to tailor the buildings to their needs while blending in with other facilities nearby or on the grounds.
See our government page for more information about how modular construction can help government agencies.