MEETING & WORK SPACES ARE UNDERSIZED, UNDERUSED AND UNINSPIRING
The domino effect of an overcrowded workplace can send you tumbling down a path of troubles. If you’re pumping the breaks on hiring staff because of space constraints, you run the risk of burning out your existing workforce. Tight workspaces decrease morale and encroach on the personal space and productivity of your team. We’ve all been a victim of tight workplace disturbances, such as Kathy’s contagious cough and the stench of reheated fish for lunch, and it’s not pleasant.
Unpleasantries aside, workspaces are evolving at a rapid pace to keep up with the changing needs of employees and your business. Even before the pandemic forced a great percentage of people to work from home, usage of hotelling for hybrid-scheduled employees saw a large uptick as working via remote access has climbed. Offering a variety of workspaces for varied work modes increases your ability to do business efficiently while accommodating technological and sociological developments.
Examples of updated work spaces include:
- Smaller, more accessible meeting and collaboration spaces
- Hotelling for hybrid workers
- Wellness rooms
- Social gathering “hubs”
- Accessibility options, sit/stand desks
- A well-appointed lunchroom with ample seating
- Privacy (Visual/Audio)- “Zoom rooms” for conference calls. (Or maybe coughing Kathy can work in there for the day?!)
Right-sizing your main office should also consider your business's upward trajectory and the space needed within 10 years. Leaving space unfinished and subletting to tenants is one way many financial institutions grow at their own pace while seeing a healthy ROI on their expansion investment. This long-term growth solution stands ready when you are ready to grow your footprint.
INABILITY to leverage technology efficiently
Centralization of your workforce into one main office solves more than just space constraints. With Financial Institutions leveraging new technology such as ITMs with universal video tellers, automation efficiencies to support the system becomes critical. Access to your workforce within one centralized location allows for the expansion of the job function, enabling those who formally were in a branch to work in an office setting, or vice versa.
Financial Institutions have largely functioned within organizational silos: front offices (branches), middle offices (call centers), and back offices (operations). Combining a branch and operations in a single location can provide critical access to an evolving workforce that was traditionally separated. Out-of-branch employees gain valuable access to in-branch operations, which presents the opportunity for better communication and clearer operational understanding, especially as new technology is deployed. The evolution of roles, processes, and procedures becomes more collaborative as the entire team is exposed to the perspective of customer service and user experience and how it relates to the new technology.
Building a flagship branch within your main office also allows for on-site testing of new technology that when vetted can be rolled out to existing off-site locations. Did you know that 85% of branches that are in existence today were built prior to 2009? This means the majority of the branches in existence were built before the iPhone existed and are likely outdated or disjointed in the technological experience. Designing with technology as a critical element forces you to consider the habits of younger generations. If your institution doesn’t provide a savvy tech-forward personalized experience, you’re likely turning off a large percent of your current and future customers. This statement holds true for main offices and employees, too.
YOUR OFFICE IS OUTDATED & OPERATIONALLY INEFFICIENT
Similar to banking technology, building materials and components have made huge advancements in the last 20-30 years, which may be the age of your existing main office. Updated glazing, insulation, and HVAC systems can drastically reduce your operating costs, while giving employees greater comfort and morale. It is not uncommon to cut utility bills for older, out of date facilities in half with new systems. (Solve the inconsistent temperature control complaints of “too hot, too cold” problem once and for all!)
The practice of daylighting to maximize visual comfort and reduce energy use has also evolved drastically. Placing windows, skylights, and reflective surfaces so the sun can provide effective internal lighting is key for saving on heat, electricity, and provides a sunny, cheerful work environment (formally saturated with fluorescent lights). With daylighting practices, updated building materials, and a modern HVAC system, you can finally kiss your sky-high energy bills goodbye, and put another type of GREEN into banking.
EMPLOYEE RETention & recruiting has become a challenge
Don’t forget the impact on recruiting and retention. With increased banking technology, future operations employees will need to know how to code, develop products, and understand data, but they will also need the personal warmth and insight to manage exceptions and deal with complex customer problems. Financial Institutions will need to identify talent pools with the required skills and provide them with the appropriate office setting. To attract this kind of talent, building your main office to include amenities such as fitness rooms, relaxing outdoor spaces, and social gathering “hubs” can play a large part in why people want to work for you, and encourages informal spaces for employees to have casual conversation/collaboration. This could be a reason a potential hire bypasses you for your competitor with a new, state-of-the-art facility.
With an increased office footprint with ample gathering space, you have the ability to bring your team together comfortably, fostering a culture inclusive of all roles from CEO to teller. Imagine birthday lunches, summer picnics, halloween parties; all under one roof with one cohesive team that feels appreciated, just like a family. And given your brand likely refers to its customers as such, it only seems fitting to invite that comradery into the office.