Mirvac group executive, office and industrial, Andrew Butler said accounting firms are starting to cater to a client’s experience by incorporating client concierge services and café and lounge spaces in their workplace design.
Additionally, while an open plan, agile workplace is not new within the industry, Mr Butler said firms are now working on targeting and engaging their Millennial employees who “want every day to be an experience in the workplace”.
“By 2025, 75 per cent of the workforce will be Millennials, which means it’s an important trend that businesses need to address now,” Mr Butler said.
“Workplace experiences can help to drive culture, engagement and ultimately retention of staff. Statistics show that three-quarters of employees are not highly engaged, creating a big opportunity for companies.
“We are seeing a real blurring of business and leisure, and if companies get the balance right, it will be a real differentiator in attracting top talent and staff retention. Some companies are even hiring a chief experience officer (CXO) to achieve this.”
Mid-tier firm HLB Mann Judd group recruitment manager Tea Lehman says her firm’s focus on implementing a wellbeing focused workplace has received a big tick from employees.
“Wellbeing is highly relevant within the workspace. If employers can provide a stress-reducing, productive, friendly and highly interactive working environment, they are on the right path to having happy employees,” said Ms Lehman.
“Initiatives such as café-like common hubs, onsite yoga sessions, personal development coaching, stand-up desks, boot camps, sports teams, just to name a few, add phenomenal employee care value.
“With minimal staff turnover and high performing staff, the approach clearly has the employee vote.”
Mr Butler also believes there is a business case for flexible workplaces in an accounting firm in the lead up to busy periods in the year.
“Accountancy firms are also looking for flexibility in their workspace to allow them to grow and contract quickly,” said Mr Butler.
“Co-working spaces in the building can also assist a firm to flex up and down on short notice and for shorter periods.
“A benefit to firms is they can maintain or potentially reduce space as they grow, ultimately better controlling their occupancy cost or overhead per person.
“[Further], we are seeing a number of accounting firms use this extra room to create an area for clients to come and work in the office at any time of the day, allowing the firm to build a stronger relationship with their clients.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.