For most organisations and employees, the workplace has transformed over the last few years. No doubt, at least in part, due to the pandemic. For business leaders, it’s harder than ever to work out the best approach to the workplace in terms of productivity, creativity and employee satisfaction. A new report, entitled the Design of the Workplace report, released at the Ecocity World Summit 2023, reveals what office workers really want from their work environments post-pandemic. With nearly three quarters (74%) of office workers admitting to feeling more productive and creative when in an office environment versus working from home.
The report, commissioned by Brookfield Properties, in partnership with Foster + Partners, surveyed 3,400 office workers nationwide. The research was carried out independently by Perspectus Global.
Design of the Workplace evidences that employers’ credentials in sustainability and, specifically design of workspaces are non-negotiable among future business leaders. As well as being essential to the health of our planet, the findings show environmentally friendly, well-designed workspaces lead to greater productivity, feeling valued, calm and improved wellbeing.
The report also examines what makes for a good workplace experience. Importantly, a quarter of office workers (24%) stated that an environmentally unfriendly office impacts both their mental and physical health. In fact, nine out of ten office employees (90%) believe that sustainable workspace design is good for both the planet and their wellbeing.
Additionally, 93% of those working in an environmentally friendly office feel happier in their job. Happiness levels drop to 55% among those working in environmentally unfriendly offices.
Findings also revealed that 40% of office workers feel more productive in an environmentally friendly office space; dropping to 12% among those with no access to one.
Importantly, findings revealed that employees feel 10 times calmer in an environmentally friendly office space. Post pandemic, office design is an important factor in terms of employee satisfaction, productivity, retention and wellbeing. A quarter (24%) of office workers find their workspace uncomfortable, making them feel unproductive and uninspired.
The right conditions include:
- Good quality air ventilation (48%) and natural ventilation (36%)
- Natural lighting (46%) and clever lighting (44%)
- Fast internet connection (43%)
- Effective heating control (37%)
- Recycling facilities (35%)
- Adaptable desks and chairs (34%)
Dan Sibert, Senior Partner, Foster + Partners explained: “The workplace of the future is about creating spaces that support a greater range of activities and diverse working practices, while focussing on wellbeing and offering people a sense of community.”
The conversation around workplace wellbeing is at the forefront of many business leader’s minds. This research soon comes after statistics from Currys found that half of UK employees suffer from “Sunday Scaries”, anxiety around returning to work.