How to Create a Tech-Friendly Office Space

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 04-01-2014 Email Print this article Print

We've often written about the extensive efforts—usually involving compensation, benefits and career-advancement opportunities—that CIOs and other organizational managers are making to recruit and retain in-demand tech talent. But how much thought have you put into the actual physical environment of your offices? Sure, you may not consider workplace décor among your core strengths. However, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what today's employees seek: A more inviting, engaging layout along with various cool touches to reflect their distinct and often collaborative culture. For how-to guidance, we've compiled the following recommendations from a number of office environment authorities, including Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and MyTurnstone. "Attracting and retaining top talent is an all-hands-on-deck battle requiring collaboration from every member of a technology firm's leadership," says Greg Matter, JLL vice president and leader of the firm's national high technology brokerage group. "The environment where companies house their employees used to be a real-estate decision. But now there are new executive constituents influencing a company's use of real estate including IT, HR [and] procurement." For more about JLL's suggestions, click here. For more about MyTurnstone's, click here.

  • Bring Down Those Walls

    Employees like workplaces that are open, transparent and collaborative, as opposed to cube farms.
    Bring Down Those Walls
  • Monitor the Environment

    Thoughtfully placed flat-panel screens throughout the office environment—displaying both fun and work-related content—cultivates a digital vibe.
    Monitor the Environment
  • Show Your Colors

    Vibrant hues will energize employees much more than traditional, bland off-white.
    Show Your Colors
  • Brighten the Day

    Modern-looking, creative lighting trumps the standard fluorescent approach of traditional corporations.
    Brighten the Day
  • Designate "Collab-Zones"

    Arrange comfy, fun furniture with available snacks and even a whiteboard to encourage teams to gather and produce something great.
  • Give It Away

    People also like free stuff. Stock the kitchen with plenty of drinks and treats—and be sure to include healthy food options.
    Give It Away
  • Let Them Self-Design

    Encourage employees to add their own artwork, funky items and other decorations—whether in individual or shared spaces—to convey a sense of community and shared culture.
    Let Them Self-Design
  • Launch a Recycling Program

    Tech folks are often green-friendly. They'll think more highly of their workplace if they know that it reflects their ecological values.
    Launch a Recycling Program
  • Open Remote Offices Where People Want to Work—and Play

    If you're expanding, think twice about going the dull industrial-park route. Top tech talent prefers to work in cool neighborhoods in cities like Austin, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.
    Open Remote Offices Where People Want to Work—and Play
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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