North-West facing a renewed war for talent

The recovering economy in the North-West is driving businesses and organisations towards a war for talent in the coming year.

Research analysis by the Manchester Society of Architects and Steelcase Solutions, workplace and office interiors experts, has revealed that quality of working environment is second only to salary in determining job satisfaction and is an increasingly important factor.

Mark Percival, President of the Manchester Society of Architects, said:

“As the economy recovers we are seeing a resurgent focus on innovation by companies in terms of workplace design.

“During the time when businesses and organisations were mired in the depths of the recession, the way people worked continued to change radically. Advancing technologies clearly have a major impact and we are living and working in an interconnected world. It has also became more apparent that people working in offices have increasingly diverse and forthright views on what their working environment should offer them.

“While businesses are always looking to optimise space and make it work for them in a smarter way, there is now a burgeoning demand for inspiring working environments that will be a key factor in attracting and retaining talent.”

Steelcase Solutions is making global research on the changing face of the workplace available to the MSA and will be working in partnership on a range of industry matters.

Greg Aspinall, Sales Manager, Northern Regions, from Steelcase Solutions, said:

“Companies such as Google and Yahoo are phenomenally popular with graduates looking for jobs, their working environment is how they ensure they attract the best possible employees. The North-West’s economy is recovering and therefore companies are wisely looking to emulate that hi-tech company approach.

“We are integrating more and more technology into office spaces which helps to support and inspire staff. This can be as basic as more TV screens that can be used for anything fromtelepresencing with colleagues and potential clients, to watching the football with colleagues after a hard day’s work.

“Companies are increasingly investing in break-out spaces, where workers can socialise, collaborate and relax. These areas can simply involve investing in a Starbucks coffee machine with accompanying seating, providing workers with an area they can socialise with their co-workers, provide a different environment for a meeting, or simply offer them an alternative space to have a break.

“Workplaces designed for an interconnected world offer the right blend of spaces and solutions to support the ways people work. It has to include the right amount of space for individual “I” work, as well as group “We” work. And there needs to be a combination of spaces that are shared or owned. The interconnected workplace offers flexibility and can accommodate change. But there is no one size fits all solution – each organization is different and each one needs a different blend of spaces.”