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workplace performance



Now more than ever companies need an employee-centered workplace strategy. To provide employees a safe, sustainable, and adaptive workplace ecosystem is what fuels and fosters space evolution and employee loyalty.
Navigating the why’s and how’s of developing such a strategy has a plethora of nuances and considerations; however, there are a few fundamental understandings that can help companies craft a truly employee-centered workplace strategy.
Here are 5 reasons you need an employee-centered workplace strategy and how they each affect your future-of-work.



It’s estimated that nine out of 10 employees are still concerned with how the pandemic could affect themselves and their families. Events like Covid happen and companies must always make strides to continually enhance the safety of their workspace ecosystem.

With that in mind–and regarding your workplace strategy–it’s important to reassess and ask:

  • How do we clean and maintain our real estate portfolio–what service model(s) do we have in place to ensure the cleanliness of our spaces are held at the highest level
  • How do we design healthy, physical space–what structural mechanisms do we have in place to enable a physically healthy environment Social distancing, proper HVAC systems, etc.
  • How do our spaces care for the whole human what can we do as a culture to address psychological health and safety?
9 out of 10

employees are still concerned about Covid.


You need to have the right mechanisms to ensure physical safety–i.e., desk reservation systems and proper cleaning protocols based on the intensity of use. This is the first thing you can do to ease the safety concerns of employees as they transition back to the office.

Furthermore, tools such as an employee experience app can address the above:

  • Reserve desks, meeting space, and mental health rooms
  • Wayfinding/office maps
  • Show the frequency in which surfaces and places are cleaned
  • Engage in transparent communications between the org and individual

The second consideration is psychological safety–and while this is complex, spaces can be an effective place to start as a vehicle for establishing trust and providing comfortability. Spaces with approachable color palettes, soft services, warm lighting, plants, and natural materials are all ways to make a space comfortable. When spaces are comfortable, people are more inclined to feel a sense of trust. 

New eras require new solutions. This is where Saltmine comes in.

The benefits of trust between company and employee:

  • Increases productivity
  • Enables collaboration
  • Fosters creativity and innovation
  • Enables conflict resolution



When it comes to your physical offices and various types of workspaces, an unoptimized real estate portfolio has costly implications–both financially and in terms of the environment.
It is estimated that office space is vacant and goes unused 55% of the time and the impact commercial buildings have on the environment are more steep than you may think.
According to the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, in the US alone, commercial spaces “generate 826 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions” per year–30% of which comes from energy that is wasted.
Even by conservative estimates, it’s safe to say that “bloated” real estate portfolios contribute millions upon millions of dollars to wasted corporate spend, all while having a substantial impact on corporate emissions.
Sustainability is increasingly central to business strategy. With more and more companies signing carbon net zero pledges, it’s becoming important to invest in solutions that are sustainable. From carbon offsetting to green capital expenditures, CRE teams are in a unique position to support companies GHG reduction targets.


The first step in how to optimize your real estate portfolio is truly understanding which spaces are being used–robust utilization tracking will reveal how much space you actually need.
From there and once you understand how current space is being used, consider only building spaces that add unique value to your employees–i.e., only create hubs and gathering spaces that enable people to do things they cannot do at home. To accomplish this, a robust digital infrastructure must be leveraged in order for employees to continue to be productive from anywhere. As much as this conversation is about reevaluating physical space, it is also just as much a conversation about having the right tech stack to ensure work continuity.
A fit-to-purpose portfolio supports employee needs in the day-to-day, while minimizing financial costs and environmental footprint. Such a portfolio requires digital management and smart building solutions, as well as a robust end-user tech stack coupled with supporting protocols, processes, and procedures.

Over 200 companies, including HP and Salesforce, have
committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.




Adaptability–i.e., the time it takes to respond to the unexpected–is adjacent to both safety and sustainability
Sustainability is rooted in resilience and resilience is rooted in being adaptive and agile.

If next year we’re all at the office–at max capacity–but a new variant of Covid spikes, and we now have to abide by a new slew of regulations, can we:

  • Leverage a robust digital infrastructure that summarizes utilization data in a holistic way, reducing the amount of time it takes to design and approve floorplans Furthermore, can this infrastructure provide a broad view of trackable data and analytics to help predict trends and respond to change in a timely fashion?
  • Quickly test fit multiple design scenarios and compare which floorplan works best and fit changing regulations regarding social distancing?
  • Automate any manual process and integrate them to a greater workplace strategy and design ecosystem that truly reduces project timelines?


To be adaptable is to be flexible–both with people and space.
Flexibility for people and space can help companies respond to unpredictable things in a timely fashion–making a hybrid approach a great way to interweave adaptability in your workplace strategy.
In many ways, the biggest takeaway and silver lining to Covid was the example of how resilient employees are. On the fly, people figured out “how-to” work amidst something as stressful as Covid, and proved they can create, collaborate, and thrive, anywhere. Putting the responsibility on the business to reflect their resilience and commit to being truly adaptive as an org.
Rethinking your portfolio to be more flexible, comes with important questions: Do we really need the same office? How can we potentially downsize our space to facilitate just collaboration and connection at the office? Should we use a co-working space and get rid of the office all together?
To accomplish workplace flexibility, physical spaces must have configurability and multi-purpose, built-in. From easily movable furniture and divider walls, to rolling white boards and an abundance of collaborative nooks, social-centric offices have become the norm for companies who have totally rethought their portfolio.

Flexible work statistics:

  • The co-working industry is expected to be worth $13 billion USD by 2025.
  • Dropbox rebrands in-person spaces as “studios” where individual work is not allowed in the office.
  • In a recent HBR study, 59% of employees say flexibility is more important than salary or benefits.
Whichever way you weave flexibility into your workplace strategy, remember that in order to have an adaptive workplace ecosystem, the spaces and procedures must fit how your people work.

Space Evolution


Offices and workspaces shouldn’t be static–they should be dynamic with multi-purpose options, built-in.

If the general employee population is leaning towards flexible work options where social activities–such as Town Halls, team-building, collaboration, etc.–are still done in-person, spaces should be configurable to meet the ever-changing needs of the occupants.
Movable furniture, whiteboards, and dividers aren’t just convenient, they get people to think differently–it supports neurodiversity keeping people sharp and engaged.
  • Traditional offices and workspaces are too rigid and force people to change how they naturally work–they feel too
    “precious” to break.
  • Progressive offices and spaces allow employees to claim ownership and pride over them–the spaces themselves
    become a reflection of their human users.

How much does flexibility matter?


of employees from an HBR study said they would “prefer to work for a company that gives them the flexibility to work from anywhere rather than fancy corporate headquarters.”


Whether you’re looking to design and re-design elements of your real estate portfolio, you must have mechanisms to continually evolve spaces over time. You won’t know how a space works until employees use it–making it crucial to not look at office design as a “one and done” initiative.

Evolving space yearns for the employee voice to be heard: How do you connect with employees to get their feedback? How are you prioritizing the employee voice to make decisions about your future workplace?

Realizing your future-of-work isn’t about the next best solution but rather creating new processes that inform continual next steps and iterations. You’re not just dealing with space–healthy evolving spaces are just as much digital as they are physical. Workplace strategies must be fluid, ongoing, and have robust digital mechanisms to capture all data pertaining to space and people.

“Technology should feed continuous employee feedback to workplace strategists so they can make real-time decisions.”

Employee loyalty


The job-seekers market we find ourselves in should be a foundational consideration when outlining our workplace strategies. People will not show up to the office if there is not a good reason to, and if you force them to, people will continue to feed the “Great Resignation.”
Employees are now demanding more choices, control, and autonomy–and if given all three, employees are more apt to taking pride and ownership over their jobs and company.

Offices that truly capture an autonomous and loyal workforce often have:

  • A diverse variety of spaces to utilize. Think WeWork’s approach–they provide multi faceted spaces.
  • A clear understanding of what spaces are used for what activities.
  • A reliable tech stack and access to digital tools.
  • A “draw”–companies have to intentionally design spaces that are engaging in order to actually get people to come in. Can your spaces accomplish things that can’t be done at home? If not, your space may not be very engaging.
4.4 million

Americans left their jobs to reevaluate their
priorities when it comes to work/life balance.


At its core, a healthy workplace strategy is built on strong employee loyalty.

If spaces are truly of, by, and for employees, they will manifest an environment where people take pride in their work and play an important role in shaping their employer’s identity. However, employees must feel heard and validated in their workplace options.

The generational spin on employee loyalty:

73% of Millennials and
65% of Gen-Zers
look at their jobs “as an integral part of their personal identity.”
As work is being actively handed over to the next generation of leaders and constituents, a re-alignment of purpose and priorities must occur. Now more than ever, do employees truly identify with their work and want to be a part of something greater than themselves–making employee loyalty crucial to a successful workplace strategy.
Businesses who establish workplace strategies that accommodate evolving worker trends, preferences, and expectations, earn the trust of the brand loyal Millennial and Gen Z demographic. And amidst our highly competitive, talent-centric job market, obtaining that loyalty should be a top priority in any workplace strategy.
Helping companies plan, design, and execute offices employees will love is what we do. Saltmine can be your holistic office design and strategy platform so you can better understand what spaces will work best for your most valuable asset–your people.
We’d love to show you how we can help you realize your future-of-work. Click the link below to schedule a demo–we look forward to helping you evolve your real estate portfolio into an ecosystem of employee-centered spaces.