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How to entice employees back in the office: Research finds it’s a combination of people, culture and office design

According the latest findings from a report published at this week’s GCUC conference by Instant and Area, 87 per cent of respondents said having a great office makes them want to actually go to work. Workplace culture, shaped by a blend of leadership, design and the availability of various facilities is the overwhelming factor in happiness and productivity at work.

The research found offices are improving, workers are happier and more productive, but only in spaces where the design, amenities available and perks on offer combine to meet employee expectations and demand.

In a world where co-working and flexibility have redefined the workplace, the amenities provided by workspace are now equally as important as the perks and benefits initiatives offered by the employer.

The survey, commissioned by workplace design and fit-out specialists Area and undertaken by flexible workspace specialist Instant, shows that employees value the ability to work remotely and have flexibility in how they manage their worklife. Enticing them back into the working environment requires a more progressive mix of features.

Nearly two-thirds of employees feel that perks and amenities are equally important. This is more important amongst millennials with those under 35 significantly more likely to believe this than those over 35 (72 per cent vs 58 per cent).

Open plan working is also shown to still be a positive factor. Those working in an open plan environment see it as a progressive space – and these spaces comprise 60 per cent of the working environments in the Instant survey and happiness and productivity is higher, at over 80 per cent in open plan than compared with cubicles or private space and co-working.

Marlies Hoogeboom​, Head of Workspace and Operations UK & EMEA, Instant Group: “There is no one solution to a happy workplace – it’s a combination of people, culture and office design in equal measures. In the modern working environment, it is flexibility that is absolutely crucial and offering perks like remote working or having satellite offices closer to home is a key element of this. But at some point, there is a risk of having great office spaces under-utilised.  

“However, if we get the balance right –  recognising the need for a variety of working modes and choice – the working environment can positively impact our daily, working lives. With 87 per cent of respondents saying that having a great office makes them want to actually go to work, our workplaces will play a fundamental role in staff attraction and retention both now and in the long-term. ”

Gary Chandler, CEO of Area, added: “These findings are encouraging, but they do not tell the whole story. We have a lot of work to do still. The workplace design community looks like it is doing something right. And the stats confirm what we know to be true anecdotally – for example 98 per cent of occupiers stated the working environment has an impact on their mood.

“So, we are saying the right things, providing the right things for customers and challenging their brief – but there is still a lot more we can do to improve productivity and happiness at work across the wider corporate real estate. However, that work is not all about design and new furniture. It is about creating the right culture which flows a combination of the people, culture and office design in equal measures.”

 

 

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