Business Info - issue 151 magazine 10 WORKPLACE 1 A flexi office set-up, suitable for both quiet working and creativity Almost one quarter (24%) of business owners want more flexibility, quiet zones and creative interiors for their future offices, showing that space needs to be agile and adaptable to how teams work. Steve Coulson, Co-founder and CEO of Kitt, says: “A one-size-fits all no longer works for businesses. The workspace needs to reflect the unique objectives of your business and team-working patterns, providing spaces that accommodate all by consulting with teams.” Businesses need to be able to continue to evolve their work spaces and make adjustments based on changes in how people like to work. 2 Collaboration at the core Collaboration is the core preferred function of the future office, with almost half (44%) of business owners believing the office will primarily be used for networking and 38% believing it will be used for meetings. By providing open, agile spaces that support easy conversation, collaboration and social interaction, business leaders can promote collaborative moments that are more difficult to experience remotely and help their company culture to thrive. 3 Prioritising inclusivity Workspaces must be inclusive of everyone’s needs. Half (50%) of directors report that representation of different cultures should be prioritised in order to create an inclusive office culture. Suggested measures include the use of gender-inclusive language throughout the office, for example on signage, plus the provision of gender-neutral facilities. With a growing focus on inclusivity, expect more businesses to factor this in as part of their office move or renovation. Coulson says: “As many prospective recruits will be searching for a company that aligns with their values, it’s Insight What we know From the JLL Workforce Preferences Barometer 2022 n Hybrid working is here to stay. • 55% of the 4,000 office workers from 10 countries surveyed work in a hybrid mode today, up 5% from 2021. • 69% of workers say hybrid working options are fundamental to their retention by an employer. n The office remains pivotal •73% of workers are in the office at least one day a week. • 60% say the office will remain central to their working life. n The office is a hub for human connection • 44% say human contact is the aspect of office life they miss the most when working remotely, with collaboration and socialising cited as the top reasons to go into the office. • 25% of the workforce feel isolated today and unable to maintain close relationships with their colleagues. n Work from third-party places is a growing attraction. • 36% of workers work from thirdparty places, such as cafes, hotels and co-working facilities. • 33% of employees say they are attracted by the possibility of having access to coworking facilities or satellite offices close to their home. n Nearly half of workers feel disenchanted. • Only 48% of the workforce are convinced that their company is a great place to work. • 24% of workers are considering leaving their employer in the coming year. n Quality of life reigns supreme. • Quality of life is the main driver for changing jobs, cited by three in four workers, and the number one work priority, followed by health & wellbeing support and salary. • 91% of the workforce find flexible options appealing in an employer, but among younger employees and caregivers the ability to choose working hours is most appealing. The Top 5 office must-haves important that work spaces are set up in a way that welcomes diversity and embraces different cultures.” 4 Workspaces for more than just work The future workplace won’t just be a place for work, but for multiple activities including those associated with home life. Homeschooling and close-quarter parenting during the pandemic brought many parents closer to their children, and spending time with little ones during the working day is a habit many are looking to maintain. One quarter (25%) of directors want the option to bring their children into the office, with allocated space for childcare enabling more flexible working patterns. Offices will also increasingly be used for staging activities and events for employees as well as for clients. 5 Employee wellbeing initiatives More and more businesses are prioritising employee wellbeing in order to attract and retain the best people. Almost a quarter (24%) want plants in the office, 21% want free lunches and almost one fifth (18%) want in-house gyms – all factors that can nurture a positive office culture whilst supporting employee wellbeing. Over the last two years, business leaders have gained insight into the things that worked pre-pandemic that they’d like to keep (e.g. free lunches, inhouse gyms) while learning the value of home working benefits that they are now looking to bring into the workplace (e.g. childcare and more inclusive spaces). If business leaders can listen to their employees' needs and align them with their own business objectives, they will be able to design work spaces that empower their teams to do their best work, while also creating and supporting a thriving company culture. Kitt, the customisable managed workspace provider, asked 1,500 office workers and business leaders what they considered to be the must-have elements of tomorrow’s workplace. Here are the top five items on the list. Global Research Workforce Preferences Barometer June 2022 Exploring employees’ new work expectations and ways employers can best support their workers in the new hybrid world