Do Lame Workspaces Translate to Lame Brands?

With WeWorks recent failed almost IPO, there’s been a lot of talk about the type of office space that actually works for employers and more importantly, employees.

Coincidentally, my agency just moved into our brand new office space, built exactly for the kind of work we do and as an expression of our mission. At Sawtooth, we like to say we whip brands into shape by helping them deeply connect with the health-conscious consumer. So it only makes sense that we not only understand that consumer, but we are that consumer. So beyond collaborative spaces for brainstorming, we have a beautiful kitchen for content shoots and healthy food prep, a gym for a quick workout to get the creative juices pumping, and balconies to take a break and enjoy the fresh air and a view of the river. Because we know all of that really matters.

There’s a growing belief that all you need to work these days is a laptop and Wifi (hence the fast growth of often dark and crowded co-working spaces, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that since we moved into space designed to promote wellness my team not only feels better, but the work is better than it was in our dark, dreary, disconnected temp space. When people ask me if it was worth the long 2-year wait? Will it actually help your company grow? I answer with a resounding YES!

Research shows happiness can increase productivity as much as 12%. The better designed the office space is, both aesthetically and functionally, the more time employees will want to spend there and the more productive they will be while they are there. Because they actually feel good, especially here where they can work and have quick access to the fresh air on our deck or catch a glimpse of a sunset over the river.

These aren’t merely my observations, 87 percent of workers would like their current employer to offer healthier workplace benefits. Research by the World Green Building Council recorded an 11 percent increase in productivity as a result of increased fresh air and a reduction in pollutants to people’s workplaces. And, a study by the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell showed that employees seated within 10 feet of a window reported an 84 percent decrease in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision symptoms. If that weren’t enough, employees who lead an active lifestyle are likely to be more productive. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain and can sharpen their concentration and decision-making skills.

A lot of these perks, especially the gym and kitchen, are mostly reserved for big companies, but because we believe in living in values of health and wellness so strongly, everyone at Sawtooth sits within 5 feet of a window, 20 feet of a balcony, and 30 feet of our in-office gym where we will host yoga classes and guest fitness trainers and are seriously contemplating the Peloton Tread.

There are a lot of lessons for brands here on how living your mission and providing for your employees will help promote employee engagement and ultimately make the brand stronger. We already have had long visits from reporters, community members, friends and clients. That translates to more visibility, longer conversations, deeper connections and ultimately growth on every level.

Do you want to spend some time in an awesome place talking about getting your brand stronger? Come for a visit.

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