How to optimise workplace experiences for increased office attendance

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern workplace, the dynamics of office attendance have undergone a profound transformation. The shift towards remote work has reshaped the way employees approach their professional lives.

However, research indicates that a strategic focus on creating the right mix of experiences in the office can significantly enhance employee engagement and bring them back to the workplace.

Understanding the current landscape

In 2023, the average time spent in the office during a typical work week has dwindled to 46% for typical organisations and a mere 41% for the most innovative ones. A quarter of the workweek is now spent in the comfort of employees' homes, showcasing the seismic shift towards hybrid work models. Nevertheless, there is a silver lining—employees express a willingness to return to the office under the right conditions.

Tapping into employee desires

A survey revealed that 25% of millennials would gladly return to the office full-time if it catered to their ideal experiences. Moreover, an impressive 70% of Gen Z employees are open to spending an additional day per week in the office. This presents a unique opportunity for commercial occupiers and workplace design experts to craft environments that not only meet but exceed the expectations of the workforce.

Crafting the ideal workplace experience

1. Flexibility is key

Designing a workplace that acknowledges and accommodates the diverse needs of employees is paramount. Incorporate flexible workspaces that allow for a seamless transition between focused, individual work and collaborative group activities. Provide a variety of work settings, from quiet zones to vibrant collaborative areas, giving employees the autonomy to choose their preferred work environment based on the task at hand.

2. Technology integration

The modern workplace is inherently tied to technology. Ensure that the office is equipped with cutting-edge technology that fosters collaboration and connectivity. Implement tools that facilitate virtual meetings, brainstorming sessions, and easy communication between remote and in-office teams. A technologically advanced environment not only boosts productivity but also enhances the overall work experience.

3. Wellbeing and comfort

Create a workplace that prioritises employee well-being and comfort. Consider ergonomic furniture, ample natural light, and indoor plants to promote a healthy and invigorating atmosphere. A positive and comfortable environment contributes to higher job satisfaction and encourages employees to choose the office as their preferred work setting.

4. Cultivate a sense of community

Foster a sense of community and belonging within the workplace. Develop spaces that encourage social interactions, team-building activities, and a shared sense of purpose. Events, workshops, and collaborative projects can help build a cohesive team culture, making the office a place employees look forward to visiting.

5. Personalised experiences

Recognise the diverse needs and preferences of different generations within the workforce. Tailor the workplace experience to align with the expectations of millennials, Gen Z, and other demographic groups. Implementing personalised experiences demonstrates a commitment to employee satisfaction and engagement.

As workplace design experts, it is our responsibility to shape environments that not only adapt to the changing dynamics of work but also inspire and motivate employees to choose the office as their preferred work setting. By strategically blending flexibility, technology, wellbeing, community, and personalisation, commercial occupiers can create workplaces that not only meet but exceed employee expectations, driving a resurgence in office attendance and fostering a thriving, collaborative work culture.

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