Culture | Design | Office | 4 min read

Is your workspace out of date?


Is your workspace out of date?

Everything points to yes.

The signs that point to your office being out of date:

  • No social place to meet or eat your lunch comfortably

  • There are no plants

  • You smell paint, plastic or it’s dusty

  • Managers clock watch and measure hours versus output

  • Employees are rewarded being in early and finishing late

  • There is access to soft drink in the fridge

  • You have one style of space to hold a meeting and it’s a room with a traditional table & chairs in it

  • The office hasn’t had an update in 5 years

  • The barriers between your desks taller than 1200mm

If you’ve ticked more than 3 criteria, your office is officially old school and not in a retro ironic way. If you want to maintain talent retention, promote long-term positive wellbeing and ensure your employees are satisfied, it might be time to start the groundswell for change and there are plenty of inspirational leaders out there to use as examples.

An out of date office points towards a company who may not be interested in attracting talented workers or know how to innovate and grow through valuing their people.

All research points towards happy employees being more productive and a comfortable environment make for happier people.


Richard Branson says “I’m a huge believer in flexible working, and we have a policy at Virgin Management allowing our staff to work from home and choose their own hours. There’s no need to be in the office to do your best work. By giving your staff the freedom to structure their own time, you will empower them to work more creatively and effectively.”

If you don’t refurbish your home, you become stale. To give a fresh lease on life and to reinvigorate staff the same application applies to work. If you have an environment that is fresh and always changing it will affect your work output.

Making work feel more like home is also a huge trend. The more relaxed and more comfortable employees are the more they can get done.

The demographics of the workforce are changing and along with that work and business expectations are changing. If you want to attract talent and keep it, businesses need to pay heed to provide a great place to work.

More modern workspaces also reduce their environmental footprint and encourage work-life balance with working from home policies and the new technology to support that.

After all, everyone has a mobile and the cloud provides limitless options to have your files accessible from anywhere in the world.


Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive. 

- University of Warwick 2014

Here’s what you can do to start the groundswell for change in your office.

When does your office lease end?

In 5 Years - You may want to start with small changes like sit-to-stand desks, fit balls to sit on, more plants and walking meetings. Smaller renovations works are also an option if you don’t have a place for lunch or break out areas for collaboration.

In 3.5 years - This is an excellent amount of time to suggest change management, make the most of a physical office move but also a move in behaviour and mindsets. You can also implement some of the small changes like updating the kitchen, adding more plants and looking at new styles of corporate culture.

In 18 months - Start your pitch for a quality office design and construct using aspirational companies. Amicus recommend that companies leave it no less than 12 months out from a move to start talking to the fitout company or tenant advisor.


The CEO and Chairman of Gallup Jim Clifton says “the only way to transform your workplace culture: Dive In — don’t put your toe in. You can afford a lot of mistakes and even failures because the system you currently use doesn’t work anyway.”

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