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.
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%).