You spend a hell of a lot of time at work.
In fact, would you believe me if I said the average Recruiter works just over 4,000 hours a year?
Well you shouldn’t. Because I made it up.
The truth is, you know how much time you spend at work.
And the place you spend the vast bulk of your waking hours will impact your wellbeing.
Your wellbeing affects your productivity, and your productivity impacts your output.
As a Recruiter, it’s important to be mindful of the environment at your current job. And to properly audit the offices of companies in your own job search.
It’s also something to consider when visiting potential clients. And a point to focus on when advising candidates.
Working environments are as unique as the people occupying them. Think how many career moves have been made or settled on whether walking into the office is met with a smile or a shudder.
But focusing on every element that makes up a working environment means you’ll get closer to finding the perfect place to work, whether that’s for you or your candidates.
Work environments can be as cool as you like, but if it’s too much hassle getting there, it’s not worth it. Although location often takes a back seat to other, shinier perks, like base salary and a PS4.
Meaning anything above that should be an absolute joy to walk into each morning. Anything more, and whatever the environment, it stands an increasing chance of being rubbish before you get there.
The office itself was grand. The journey there ruined it.
Saying ‘open plan office’ is a bit like saying ‘cloud based CRM’ or ‘uncapped commission’.
It doesn’t need to be said, because it’s obvious, and applies to the overwhelming majority of cases.
Researchers found things like morale, privacy, productivity and propensity for distractions can all be pinned on the way an office is designed.
Do you like lots of interaction with your colleagues? Or do you prefer a bit of isolation to get your head down?
Maybe Science is Against Your Open Plan Office. Or maybe, it’s exactly what you need:
“You hear one person make a placement and the room picks up. A good sales call inspires a desk. You can arrange dinner plans. You can see the physical reaction of sending a risqué Ed Hunter article round“
How’s the room set up to facilitate your working style?
When I was interviewing for jobs in recruitment, how clean the working environment was a reliable factor in whether I was interested in a company or not.
I’m a massive neat freak. I like to have as little as possible on my desk. Currently, I have a laptop and a coffee cup and that’s it.
Clutter makes it harder to concentrate. And actually, if your physical environment’s reflective of your ideal mental state – ie, clear – you’re going to find it much easier to focus on revenue generating activities.
Something UK Recruiters can relate to over summer when the mercury starts pushing the mid-twenties, if we’ve not already melted: the hotter it gets, the more lethargic you feel.
Temperature’s not only going to affect your productivity, it’ll make the likelihood of accidents in the workplace more common. You’ll also sweat through your shirts quicker than you can replace them.
Sounds minor, but cooler offices are supposed to be between 5% and 15% more productive.
Depending on the context, colour’s been shown to impact mindset, stir a reaction in people, and affect their output.
There’ve been a few studies on the negative impact of seeing the colour red before sitting an exam. Although legendary Liverpool Manager Bill Shankly changed Liverpool’s kit to all red in the sixties because he wanted them to look gigantic, dangerous, and powerful.
And it worked. Although perhaps not by itself.
But just think about walking into an office painted lurid green and deep purple every morning. You’d be ill.
On one hand, you’ve got recruitment businesses that are run by leaders in a time before Sonos. And a quiet office has its perks. It’s easier to concentrate, errors are reduced, and productivity increases, studies show.
On the other hand, music lifts moods, alleviates peer pressure from making sales calls in a silent environment, and helps the day go by with added fun.
It also drowns out the ambient noise from an open office, or a busy road.
I’m not joking here, but what’s the floor like? Is it carpeted? Lucky enough to have fake grass or sand pits under the desk?
Or are the echoey clops of your manager’s loafers going to give you anxiety, as they get ever louder?
Now, I went on a bit of a dive through the ol’ Hunted client roster to see if I could find a company with an HQ that grabbed me.
Home to Redstone Search, the grade 1 listed manor sits in the really very green city of St Albans, 30-odd minutes on the train from Liverpool Street.
Instead of traffic lights, pedestrians, and four Starbucks on their doorstep, Consultants at Redstone have 40 acres of land to explore. Which means having your tupperware of pasta by the side of a lake while Muntjac deer have a nap nearby is a realistic lunch break activity.
“High ceilings, lots of windows and panelled wood everywhere leads to a real feeling of prestige, which we instinctively channel to our clients. The setting’s a huge hit with our foreign clients who love the Downton Abbey vibe”
“Recruitment isn’t always sunshine and roses. When you’ve had a bad call or need some fresh air, nothing’s better than real sunshine and roses. A 10 minute walk around the grounds leads to a serious increase in mental rebalance, reducing stress and boosting morale”
Consultant/ Senior Consultant at Signify Technology
Mid/Senior Interior Design Consultant at Adrem Group
Principal Consultant - Finance at Ernest Hunter Green
Lead Consultant - Communications - Temp / Contract at EMR