Physical space is one of the most powerful assets companies have to tell their story, drive cultural change, and create experiences for their people.
We are experiencing a rapid evolution in where and how we work. Conversations about work have changed. And so have the conversations about why it matters.
Shifting expectations are having a profound impact on the workplace. A focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) isn't new, but will be a key driver to creating an inclusive workplace culture, attracting and retaining talent, and business success.
As we support clients on their DEIB journeys and focus on driving real change, we called on Chely Wright, Chief Diversity Officer at Unispace to share her insights about creating spaces where everyone belongs.
Talent is in the driver’s seat. And they know it.
Now more than ever, people want to see their differences celebrated, respected, and supported, especially in the spaces they inhabit. They’re no longer captive audiences to these spaces, whether it’s workplace, retail, entertainment or beyond. They want to be in environments that allow them to explore what’s right for them, and give them the support, tools, and development opportunities to be their best selves.
Those who don't integrate DEIB into their space strategies risk losing their best and brightest and ultimately impacting their bottom line.
Inclusion and belonging play key roles in the physical environment of today and tomorrow.
In a recently conducted survey with CoreNet Global, we asked over 100 global real estate leaders about the intersection of the employee experience, DEIB and workplace. 90% of respondents noted their company is making a commitment to DEIB—with 60% reporting an active program and 30% developing a program. These efforts focus on hiring practices (85%), training (67%), goal setting (63%), and employee resource groups (64%)—why wouldn’t companies also focus on the physical space and related space programming?
Create environments where everyone belongs
There’s not a singular, definitive way to create spaces that deepen connections and foster belonging, but there are key considerations for companies that want to start this journey:
Discover where you are on your DEIB journey
Know what your "thing" is
Infuse your space with your story
Create spaces that support your people and give back to the community
Re-imagine what flexibility and equity in space means and looks like
Establish the right partnerships to support your story
Incorporate Supplier Diversity; this isn't optional
Spaces designed for a sense of belonging and inclusion highlight a company’s commitment to make cultural change possible. And cultural change—in this environment and this moment—is not a “nice to have.”