There’s no question that the pandemic has changed the way we work. Hybrid working went from a niche decision some companies made to an inevitable and massive shift in the way that people work around the world.
Kadence recently commissioned research with OnePoll to survey over 1,500 UK and US office workers to look into:
We have identified and highlighted five key insights from our survey results to help you navigate your way through return-to-work planning and create a workplace your people want to return to.
More than a third (37%) of US and UK office workers describe the prospect of going back to the office as the equivalent of going out to meet with friends.
Over a quarter (28%) of respondents also said they are now prepared to spend more money and commute for longer to reunite with colleagues. Many also anticipate easier collaboration (60%), and better productivity (52%) once they get there.
There is no doubt office workers crave more in-person time with their colleagues. However, what motivates them to commute to the office has changed.
For most, the office is not the best place for focused work. It has become a destination – a place for collaboration, team building that brings innovation and creativity.
‘Watercooler moments’ were some of the most noted benefits of office work for over half (55%) of surveyed office workers.
Almost half of employees (45%) report feeling happier after such encounters, and around a third say they feel more motivated, creative and productive.
Our research clearly showed how unexpected serendipity encounters can boost productivity and creativity, they’re also the hardest to replicate in the virtual world. So, how do you orchestrate these moments of serendipity in a hybrid workplace?
Hybrid working is often described as the best of both worlds. With the option of working remotely or in the office, employees can choose whichever environment enables them to do their best work.
Those who need peace and quiet to concentrate might choose to work remotely from home, or they might opt to book a desk in the quiet corner from the office to get their work done – the key is that employees have the space available to them as well as flexibility to choose.
Hence, office design was shown to be top of workers’ minds in our survey, with one in three employees expecting more collaborative office zones to be made available when they return to the office (34%), while employees also expect more competition for the best desks or spaces to work in the office.
Building in the opportunity for feedback and flexibility into work models will be crucial – over half (54%) expect to visit the office between 2-3 days a week, combined with the flexibility and autonomy to decide how they want to work.
Get feedback from your teams to see how they’re finding the new layouts, processes or workflows, and be prepared to listen and flex where needed.
The idea of returning to work is causing anxiety for both employers and employees. Over the past year working from home, our survey revealed that many (44%) feel that they need to be ‘always on’ and unable to switch off from work mentally.
As we recently discussed in our blog on employee wellbeing, as companies begin to reimagine the future of work, our conversations must be broader than the mechanics of returning to the office. Employers need to ask: how can we redesign our workplaces as a more positive force for growth, agency and mental health?
Discover how Kadence can help you and your employees do their best work in a hybrid workplaceBook Demo