The future is here, now, so businesses need to act. Covid 19 moved the workplace agenda on 5 years in a day!
Senior business leaders are now talking about workplaces and flexible working, like never before.
Recent research undertaken by Leesman (www.leesmanindex.com) has demonstrated that, on a scale where 70+/100 represents an outstanding experience, employees have scored home working 74/100.
This is much higher than the average office score (63.7/100). So, if your business has “an average office” your staff may not be very motivated to return!
The homework setting is important. If a person has a separate work room (study) the satisfaction level is much higher (78-79/100) whilst a non-specific workspace produces a lower satisfaction score of 66-67/100. Both still higher than the “Average” office. In terms of Productivity the research shows Home working rated at 83% and Offices 64%.
Leesman measured 21 specific activities and found that staff scored 17 as being better supported at home, verses 4 in an Average Office. This does however become much more even if the comparison is between Home and an “Outstanding” office. Leesman measure the latter as having a minimum satisfaction rating of 70/100.
The two biggest factors differentiating an “Average” from an “Outstanding” Office are:-
- The variety of different workplaces.
- Acoustic privacy (sound).
A better quality (outstanding) workplace will have a positive impact on employee’s desire and motivation to return to the office.
Generally, in the UK, the status of office ratings is NOT good enough – most offices are “Average”. There is therefore a need for businesses, to review and upgrade their workplaces, to “Outstanding”, to meet today’s employee’s expectations.
Before Covid 19, 50% of the workforce had no experience of home working. Today employees are benchmarking Home to the Office – how does your office meet this challenge?
The Social fabric has been challenged. The research says the following:-
- 48% want to work 2/3 days in the office.
- 15% want to work 4/5 days in office.
- 37% want to work 0/1 days in office.
There are some generational variations. Generally younger staff value the Office experience more. The social/community and personal development, mentoring is important to them.
The nature of the working tasks is another factor. Some require an Office presence for technical, processing, or collaborative reasons.
These moving “tectonic workplace plates” are going to impact both the size of offices required and how they are designed, going forward.
The good news is that the amount of required space is probably going to reduce (40/60%) whilst the design “quality” of that space will improve.
So, those Businesses who offer a well thought through flexible work policy and an outstanding office workplace, will be the most successful, in attracting and keeping talent, maximizing engagement and productivity.