For many months now we have proven we can easily and efficiently work from home. Focus work and productivity has been reported to be exceptionally effective at home, and remote collaboration also saw an improvement in effectiveness as compared to doing both activities in the office. However, we can’t manage to effectively do all work activities from home. The workplace not only still remains relevant, it may be more important than ever.
There’s really something about going to the office to do some work. People want to go to work to work and somehow create a schism between their life at home and life at work. The role of the workplace has transformed since the pandemic impacted our worklife.
According to a survey done by Genslar, “the most important reasons employees see for coming into the office include meetings, socializing, connecting with colleagues, and building community. This underscores the fact that being with colleagues in person is an invaluable part of the workplace experience, as is being part of a community that can’t be replaced virtually while working from home. This is not only changing expectations of how we work, but it’s changing the role of the physical workplace. The post-COVID-19 workplace will shift away from a place where people simply go to work, and into a place where people want to be to meet, socialize, and work with each other. It will shift from a “work” place for individual work to a “convening” place for group work.”
The workspace needs to metamorphose according to time and circumstance. These are determined by technology, the state of the economy and life in general. There’s often a disconnect between what employees want and what employers think employees want.
In Vault’s article Top 9 Things Employees Want in a Workplace, According to a New Study,
“The study—conducted by Future Workplace and View, and written about in the Harvard Business Review by Future Workplace Partner Jeane Meister—found that employees care little about Google-like perks such as food trucks, bowling alleys, and craft-beer happy hours, and care a lot about the basics of human survival such as air, light, and water.”
You need to tailor your space based on their basic needs to get work done and how they can work their best. To ensure you are still providing the best and safe space for returning employees amid COVID-19, here are the top things employees really want in an office space:
A Physical Office
In a survey for employees across the United States, 83% of the respondents said they wanted to spend some time in an office over working remotely all the time. Most people, especially after all these months in lockdown, want a change of scenery.
From the same survey, more than half wanted private offices, while less than a third wanted an open floor plan and 20% prefer cubicle offices.
Most employees have assigned spaces. This means companies should provide office space which employees can personalize, if possible.
It’s most likely similar here in Metro Manila. Remote work has so many challenges. There are daily challenges while living in one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Working from home, employees struggle with crying babies, the occasional crowing rooster, neighbors singing karaoke, and every other distraction imaginable
Great Workplace Environment
If companies spent more time investing in improving the workplace environment over perks like onsite gyms and game rooms, productivity will drastically improve. Employees really just want to be able to work without getting distracted. Here are some of the things they want:
Better air quality
In a survey by Future Workplace, 58% of respondents said they wanted fresh, allergen-free air to improve their wellness.
Comfortable (Natural) Light
The same survey also has half of the employees interviewed saying they wanted a view of the outdoors to feel better while working. Employees don’t want to feel boxed in so a view of the outside can improve people’s well-being.
Employees feel better when the temperature is ideal. This means not feeling like winter is coming. Employees are also less likely to get sick from a freezing workplace. Make sure the room temperature is optimally set. Ask your employees.
As the trend towards open offices continued, the more employees realized how much they valued their privacy. While collaboration is certainly appreciated by employees, certain work needs complete focus. The solution is variety. Give employees the ability to choose according to their needs.
Employees want their own personal space more than any other place at the office, but companies need to provide other spaces.
You want to provide a variety of locations:
These spaces need to feel like a base for your employees in case they need individual time on some work.
Large meeting rooms
For when the teams need to meet or do an activity together.
Open offices can be made for entire floors or per team
Places to relax
Employees also need a space that feels entirely separate from the office while being conveniently located nearby.
People need a space for meditation or silence
Open office setups save on costs but usually sacrifice privacy and overall comfort for employees. By bringing back privacy even to open offices, you can achieve the purpose of open offices—increased engagement. Giving employees the option to avoid engagement ultimately makes it their idea when they do choose to be engaged with a coworker. One of the takeaways of the great open office experiment is that balance is the key. It’s about organizing space that encourages a variety of experiences.
Great office design provides escape when employees need it. Employees feel empowered by management to make their own decisions, even on how and where they work.
Another known issue with open office design can be visual noise. Even when you find a quiet spot to work, you can get distracted by activity in your periphery. You need an office design that helps you focus.
There’s also actual noise, which is a common issue for employees. Noise distractions impact employees’ ability to concentrate. Some of these distractions are ringing phones, typing on keyboards, and coworkers talking.
Ask CEOs what the single most important leadership skill is and they’ll tell you: Creativity. The business world is consumer-driven and each day requires problem-solving, iteration and ideation. But these distractions get in the way of creativity and innovation.
Noise control is vital to designing a great workspace. You want to avoid hearing unwanted chatter as you’re trying to meet a deadline. At Arch Offices, we’ve carefully designed serviced offices that meet the criteria, helping clients get work done.
People-centric Office Design
Workspaces need to be catered to the people who will use them. The office needs to motivate and inspire employees. It needs to feel conducive to focus and productivity. Our office spaces in Makati are designed to be just that—flexible and customizable according to how people want to work. Some want to work on their own, others in small teams, and still others in large teams.
Chances to Collaborate
Now more than ever, businesses see the advantages of connecting outside the workplace. “Premium” coworking is trending in large companies for several reasons. It is catering to established professionals and companies that aim to keep their offices small, as well as innovative business owners that see the value of exposing their employees to outside people.
The coworking trend was pioneered by startups that wanted to share space (and cut costs) with other companies. Now, corporations are investing in coworking too. Coworking is now a part of a larger movement for creating spaces where people feel more connected, healthier, and happier.
People Can Thrive in a Workplace That Meets Their Needs
While work from home has proven to be feasible, we cannot completely remove the importance of the workplace. Most employees still want to go to work to a physical space. Companies have to design a workplace that all their employees both in-office and remote, that can cater to their different work needs given the many changes in the way we work.
As business owners and managers, we need to provide spaces, both open spaces or private offices that help employees get things done. This also means providing personal spaces, coworking spaces, and even quiet rooms while considering a safe workplace for employees during the pandemic.
Employees will appreciate it when you offer their own space to work. The best workplace is one where people can do their jobs well and with minimal stress and distractions.
Do you want to find the ideal workspace in the best location that you and your team will love to come to every day? Get in touch with us.