UK workers are feeling uninspired by the office and finding places of work to be lacking, as the latest research has branded them as uninviting, with many blaming the pandemic for the shift in work attitudes.
A new report by interior design and fit-out business Claremont has revealed how businesses can make workplaces relevant and compelling by tuning into how employees feel about an office. Claremont surveyed more than 1,000 office workers across a range of sectors to identify the impact of an office on a workforce’s behaviour and how staff need to feel in order to be happy, healthy and productive.
Dubbed ‘The Workplace Oooh’, the research revealed that almost half of employees – 52% of hybrid workers and 48% of full-time office-based workers – feel uninspired by their workplace, while 42% say their office doesn’t make them feel valued. It also revealed that the vast majority of today’s employees (84%) expect the office to deliver an experience, rather than it just being a place to complete tasks.
Sarah Syson, Head of Design at Claremont said:
In recent years, the very essence of how, when and where we work has changed and the office has taken on a new role. It’s no longer the everyday place for work and so it must work much harder to make itself relevant and inviting. Now, the office needs to give employees the feelings and experiences that lone working leaves us wanting – those rich in face-to-face contact, collaboration and socialisation.
Sarah Syson, Head of Design at Claremont
The research also revealed the six key emotions that today’s employees seek from their workplace – they want to feel inspired, valued, connected, supported, included and proud.
Camaraderie and a feeling of connection with colleagues is key – over a third (35%) of all employees and 42% of hybrid employees said they want to visit the office to feel human connection and teamwork is what makes people feel the most productive and positive about being in the office.
Cost of living has also had an impact on attitudes to places of work, with 28% of people sharing that a major reason they would visit the office is to be in a heated space. For the youngest workers, this rose to 31% of Generation Z.
Equally, workers revealed red flags that can put them off attending the office including poor kitchen facilities, poor & outdated office etiquette, lack of quiet spaces, no wellbeing spaces, concerns about cleanliness, no access to the outdoors and even bad coffee.
The data also revealed that:
– Nearly a third of employees want a fun creative environment (30%), closely followed by using brilliant technology (29%)
– Seeing friends and working as part of a team is also essential for modern workers, with almost a third saying it makes them feel positive about work (32%) and the same saying it makes them feel productive (31%)
-Collaboration is also highly valued but mostly by the Baby Boomer generation with 40% saying they want face-to-face collaboration opportunities.
– Almost a quarter (24%) of this audience also wanted better technology in the workplace to help them collaborate with colleagues
Generational differences are highlighted too, with stark attitude shifts from Baby Boomers through to Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. The youngest group of workers, Generation Z, are the proudest of their workspaces at 84%, but they do have high expectations of it with a fifth (20%) expecting it to be environmentally conscious.
Inclusion mattered to all workers, covering a range of needs including flexible working. Flexible working was highlighted as an important factor for female employees (45% compared with 37% of men) and was prevalent most for Millennials and Generation X.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.