The best tool to increase team engagement and boost productivity in the workplace

A case study that explains how the design of your workplace can help increase team engagement and boost employee productivity.

This practical case study will show you how your workplace can help you increase team engagement and boost employee productivity in your organisation, so you can solve the main employee related issues that HR Managers, like you, are facing today.

For this case study, we have selected The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)¹, one of our clients in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The large complex building where KIT is housed is the Dutch House of the Sustainable Development Goals²
, (SDG). It is a complex that houses KIT (The Royal Institute of the Tropics) as well as a number of tenants; all companies all working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

When KIT approached us, the institute was facing a major challenge caused by a low level of interactions in the workplace among the different departments, as well as with its guest tenants. Over the few years prior, parts of the institute were relocated several times and the departments were divided over several non-connected spaces.

Your workplace can help you increase team engagement and boost employee productivity in your organisation.

team engagement boost productivity

We took the project on and started the four phased AKKA process. After we started engaging with the teams in KIT, we revealed that there was a strong need for unity. They desired “one” KIT within KIT’s core team as well as with its guest tenants.
In order to achieve this vision of unity in feeling and in practice, we redesigned their workplace entirely, relocated some departments and created a centralized space dedicated to KIT’s core team, as well as other spaces shared with the tenants.
Additionally, common shared spaces were created to foster interactions and connections among the different tenants and between KIT and the tenants. The interior and the colour palettes were carefully chosen to visually represent the identities of the different groups of parties: namely KIT, tenants and the SDG house.

Common shared spaces can be created to foster interactions and connections among the different users of a space.

team engagement boost productivity
team engagement boost productivity
team engagement boost productivity

“Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.”

On the practical logistics side of things, since KIT teams as well as tenants were working in the space itself all throughout the period of construction, we had to phase the construction work and design the planning to accommodate for an uninterrupted work flow of all teams. During the design process we also made sure that work was done only when necessary and as many items as possible were re-used or re-purposed in order to save resources, hence supporting KIT’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Space is a strategic tool that can foster interactions and this vision is at the core of the work we do. In fact, at the end of the project, based – in post-project interviews we invited all employees to – , we were able to conclude that team engagement increased and the re-designed workplace helped with boosting productivity amongst users. 

Additional collected inforamtion based on what employees have stated at the end of the project:

  • Pride in the new workplace and willingness to invite a client in, increased by 65%
  • The new workplace environment has enabled people to ‘feel good’ / ‘feel better60,5% more than before the re-design.
  • The number of employees that reported that the new space facilitates their different needs throughout the different times of the day has tripled (300%).
  • 90% of employees report feeling positive due to the colours, look-and-feel, and furniture scheme in the new space. 
  • The number of employees that believe that the new workplace captures what KIT stands for, has doubled after the re-design.

This project illustrates how the workplace can be designed and optimised to solve many of the issues you may be facing as a senior HR manager such as the need to increase team engagement, boost productivity, decrease employee turnover, increase employee well-being and foster healthy interactions amongst employees.

To find out how optimising your workplace can help you retain your employees by fostering better social interactions, download here AKKA’s Innovative Workplace Expert guide, which contains the full version of this case study and more practical examples of other projects that show you how AKKA has increased team engagement and boost productivity over and over again for small, medium and large organizations, in a variety of industries and countries from around the world.

Use your workplace as a strategic tool to attract and retain the best talent.


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“We would like to express our gratitude for the time you invested in helping us get to a clear picture.  Anna and I really appreciated the call we had with you, your responsiveness, and the great empathy that you exhibited throughout – we certainly felt very “well taken care of” when engaging with you.  On the practical side, we especially appreciated that there was the option to obtain robust bottom-up cost estimates for the construction itself (not every design architect offers this).”

-Private Client of AKKA



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