We have all noticed how the pandemic has drastically changed work behaviors and the needs that the workplace has to support. Discussions are ongoing about strategies for returning to the offices either fully or partially. In our analysis, we highlight reports from various research studies.
Genslers recent research
In Gensler’s latest global workplace research, conducted in nine countries and ten industries, it is reported that employees maximize their productivity when they are in the office more frequently. Here are five trends that Gensler has identified to drive priorities.
- Mobility: Employees expect the ability to work from anywhere
- Choise: Employees’ ideal mix of experiences and different work environments.
- Privacy: Many employees have struggled to find privacy in the workplace, now they expect the same level of privacy they can have at home.
- Hybrid: Hybrid work is here to stay. Work is no longer about where you are, but about what you do.
- Health and wellbeing: Good workplaces have always supported more than just work. Health and well-being should be built into the office environment.
Read Genslers research
WFH = Work from Home; was imposed when the pandemic hit. Now, employees don’t want to go back to old ways of working, as the majority experienced positive impacts as a result of working from home. They also say that job tasks do not suffer, according to a large new study conducted by King’s College Londons Policy Institute and Business School.
RTO-strategies coming up
RTO = Return To Office. Goldman Sachs wants 5 days of office presence per week, Google bases performance reviews on attendance. 90% of large companies plan to implement RTO strategies with the goal of having employees back in the offices by the end of 2024, according to a report from Resume Builder. They refer to analyses showing that productivity, collaboration, mentorship, learning, and engagement increase when people are physically present. Amazon’s Andy Jassy has found that it is easier to strengthen culture when surrounded by colleagues. This is something that Brian Elliott from the research consortium Future Forum has also concluded. Some policies will be more aggressive than others, discussing layoffs and tracking employees. Imposing such policies can lead to a breach of trust with employees, says Susan Vroman, a management lecturer at Bentley University. Transparency is key in RTO plans to maintain trust capital, she states.
Hybrid is the best way to go
In order to retain talented employees and attract new talent, leaders need to develop hybrid policies that balance flexibility. Research from McKinsey shows that the most ideal distribution is spending half of the work time in the office. According to a Bankrate survey of 2,000 adults in the US, a whopping 68% prefer predominantly hybrid work, with at least one day remotely. Even McKinsey & Company writes in their report that the way forward is hybrid work.
Philippe Paré, principal at Gensler in Paris, explains that workplaces that prioritize well-being and being ’empathic offices’ are the ones that will succeed the most. This includes encouraging different work environments, considering individual needs, allowing space for personalities, physical abilities, and neurodiversity. Well-being is optimized, resulting in a more rewarding workday with higher levels of creativity and productivity. Attractive offices become destinations for personal meetings, collaboration, socialization, but also tech-free focused work. A positive employee experience also positively impacts the customer experience.
David Kulen at Powerplant has developed an office coffee bar where employees can get a drink based on how they want to feel. Ply Ateliers has designed Ramboll Berlin’s office to provide a flexible work experience that includes various user functions. The building has also been designed to be converted into residences in the future.
Thoughts from Horreds
To be involved all the way and well into the future, we offer qualitative flexibility that supports people’s needs in different functions. Not only sitting comfortably in a chair but also feeling a sense of envelopment, like in our Glove, which also has a few simple adjustments to customize to different needs. Complement our large VX project tables with table screensfor different functions. Focus work is best done in our Mute, available for both single and multiple users. Give your employees the opportunity for a good home working environment with Cuba or Grand. We will tell you more about how you can create the best workplace of the future (empathy included), just give us a call.
// Per-Ola Johansson, owner
Sourses: Frame, Forbes, CNBC Make It, HRDive