Research from Crown Workspace suggests that almost half (46 per cent) of hybrid workers believe their office or workspace does not suit a hybrid working model and is in need of modernisation.

In recent months a number of businesses have requested a return to the office or an increase to the number of days spent in the office. The research found 21 per cent of respondents would feel more encouraged to return with the promise of better hardware and IT. Other changes that would encourage them to return to the office would be having a pet-friendly office (18 per cent) and an increase in plants or flowers in the building (15 per cent) would also motivate them to go into the office more.

The research, conducted amongst 2,000 hybrid working adults in the UK, also revealed where changes to workspaces to support hybrid working are actually being seen. The biggest changes being made to office spaces includes reducing the number of desks (33 per cent) with 28 per cent working on a hot-desking system, the introduction of more private/ quiet areas (32 per cent) and the introduction of more breakout areas for collaborative work (27 per cent).

Other research findings include:

  • More than a fifth (21 per cent) of hybrid workers said they were not consulted in what they wanted from their office workspace
  • Over 40 per cent of hybrid workers said that free food and drink would encourage them to return
  • Nearly a third (27 per cent) would be motivated by social events with colleagues
  • More than half (52 per cent) of hybrid workers said they wanted to see a removal of 9-5 working days and a movement towards more flexible choice of hours

Jacqueline Bird, Head of Workplace Consultancy at Crown Workspace said: “For some time it’s been clear that businesses must focus on making sure their offices and other workspaces suit the changing needs of their team, which will vary greatly dependent on a variety of factors such as age and location. We recognise that employees are using the office in a different way than they were before the pandemic – using their office days to catch up and collaborate with colleagues or clients and then doing the bulk of their focused work from home.

“We’ve never seen such a big shift in our working lives so this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to examine what their employees really want and need and how they can ensure their offices are fit for the future,” she added. “Businesses must adjust to the way that their offices are run in order to keep their employees engaged. It’s also a huge opportunity to examine the effect of your carbon footprint in your workspace and make some meaningful changes. We know a big issue is simply not knowing where to start, but if businesses don’t start making adjustments, they could find themselves losing out on great talent and future growth.”

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, says “The workplace environment is one aspect of working life that its easily overlooked. But employers who take a truly holistic view towards creating a positive working environment can easily stay a step ahead of those who don’t.

“With the labour market being tighter and more competitive than ever before, recruitment and retention are high on most employers’ agenda,” Palmer adds. “And with more employers looking to bring staff back into the workplace, it’s vital to create an environment where people want to spend time. Although spending money on the workspace may seem like a luxury at a time when many business owners are tightening their belts, it could ultimately end up saving you thousands in recruiting costs.”

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