82% of Europeans Want Improvements in the Workplace (aka: Better Tech)


Research published by Sony Professional Displays and Solutions Europe paints a clear picture of new working habits and preferences from the perspective of both employees and businesses. The report reveals that 41% of UK office workers still prefer to work in an office, and across Europe, this trend is even more pronounced, with over half (53%) favoring office-based work. However, eight in ten (79%) in the UK would prefer improvements to office spaces and the tech within them. One interesting and surprising data point from the report is that only 7% want to work fully remotely. This data contradicts a recent FlexJobs report published by Forbes that showed that 65% of office workers would prefer to work remotely all the time.

But, what is clear in both reports is that workers want better office spaces – and better tech inside them.

In tandem with Censuswide, Sony surveyed 2,600 white-collar workers, business leaders and CEOs across Europe to better understand their working habits, preferences, environments and priorities.

A few years ago, office trends saw many companies changing how they operate by using co-working spaces and hot desking environments that answered collaborative employees’ needs. While that suited the 5-day-a-week office goers of pre-Covid times, its appropriateness for today’s workforce is uncertain.

More than half (56%) of CEOs and business leaders in the UK still plan to incorporate co-working spaces in future office spaces despite data revealing that only 15% of employees prefer this setup. While investment into co-working spaces continues, nearly half (48%) of business leaders and CEOs are also looking to increase their owned office spaces in the future, and they agree that the right technology setup (48%) along with flexible hours (58%) will be key to employee wellbeing and satisfied workers. Employees echo this sentiment, with 79% asking for improvements to dedicated company offices and technology to suit new ways of working better.

Screenshot 2023 09 08 at 7.26.04 AM (1)For employers, delivering the office of the future that employees demand is proving a challenge. 79% say there are barriers to making their office spaces work for employees’ current working habits. The top three barriers cited by UK employers are a lack of appropriate real estate solutions (30%), a lack of budget (29%) and a disparately located workforce (23%).

Some workers are entirely office-based, but most prefer flexibility

Over a quarter (28%) of UK office workers are still entirely office-based. Whether in the office or not, this workforce constantly collaborates with disparately located colleagues, with 85% of all meetings including at least one remote participant.

People increasingly want complete flexibility over where and when they work (44%), indicating that asynchronous working is here to stay. 94% of UK business leaders say they enable asynchronous working patterns and 92% of office workers claim that, when done right and enabled properly by their employer, asynchronous working benefits their productivity (44%), mental health (40%), work-life balance (60%) and stress levels (38%).