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Moore About Business: Local businesses are taking tips from Silicon Valley design for employee recruitment

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Tech companies in Silicon Valley created an interior design trend in the late 1990s focused on employee comfort.

The reason? Southwest Florida’s OFDC Commercial Interiors President Joe Gammons says that when competing for talent, businesses must offer competitive pay and benefits, as well as perks that make employees want to work there, creating a place where employees feel comfortable, focused and productive.

Currently, with far more job vacancies in Florida than people looking for jobs, companies must get creative to recruit and retain talent. Since employee retention isn’t only about a bigger paycheck, businesses have begun bringing a little Silicon Valley design to Southwest Florida.

Gammons noted that companies are accomplishing this in several ways, including:

  • Lounges: If a company has more employees working from home and an attractive lease, repurpose the extra space as a lounge, breakout room or game room. A 10-minute mental break offers both stress release and team bonding opportunities for employees.
  • Dining options: Create a café-like vibe with counter seating and high-top chairs or perhaps retro booths, making employees feel like they went out for lunch, even if they’re just down the hall.
  • Outdoor spaces: Set up areas to encourage conversation and brainstorming sessions, freeing up creativity that otherwise might not get expressed.
  • Workstations: Since prospects envision themselves sitting at a desk for eight hours, they want an environment that feels like a second home. Functional workspaces include an ergonomic chair, study desk and storage solutions.

Of course, there is a cost associated with creating an employee-centric workplace. Southwest Florida businesses are betting this intentional investment will pay off in the long run for both recruiting and retaining top talent.
Karen Moore is the owner and publisher of Southwest Florida Business Today.