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  • Writer's pictureLynsey Woods

Working In The Office - It Has To Be Worth It.

81,396 hours. That’s how much of life most of us spend working. We’ve proven that we can be just as productive working from home (if not more), so why do you need to go into the office?


The profound nature of the last few years has resulted in generational shifts in attitude and working behaviours is forcing organisations to reimage their employee experience. Hybrid working has become the default work model for knowledge workers globally, meaning our daily routines have evolved, and our workspaces must, too.


It’s now become a dealbreaker for companies to create and foster an office environment that empowers people with the right space to work, think, and collaborate naturally.

With employee motivations changing, here are some key stats that businesses should be taking note of:

73% of employees say they need a better reason to go into the office than employee expectations – Microsoft Work Lab.

73% of employees are considering leaving their job for the right offer, with 74% of younger employees saying they would accept a pay cut for the change to work at their ideal job – Business Insider.

91% of employers are experiencing skills shortages, meaning good talent is hard to find, and keep – Australian Financial Review.


Unemployment rates are set to decline to 40 years lows, meaning the search for good talent is set to intensify – RBA.


Today, the office has taken centre stage as a powerful tool for businesses to attract and retain staff; with employees now commanding more freedom and control over where and how they work with a focus on health and wellbeing, technology, and collaboration. Creating a functional environment is a necessity, however, emotional, and human elements are now the key to a thriving business, and culture.

73% of workers believe there are more productive when working from home – Statistica.

79% of organizations have lost out on at least one job candidate due to the lack of flexibility in work hours and location – Capterra.

A person’s commute has 9x the influence over whether they’ll return to the office as having enough space to focus in the office – Hassel Studio.

In Australia, 82% of employees are not engaged in the workplace – Gallop.


A whopping 87% of workers would like their current employer to offer healthier workplace benefits, with options ranging from wellness rooms, fitness benefits, standing desks, healthy lunches, and ergonomic seating – Forbes.

90% of businesses view workplace design instrumental in enhancing employee’s health and well-being – CBRE.

Low employee engagement costs Australian companies $2 billion each year – ELMO.

Put all of this together, and there is significant pressure on the office (amongst other things) to perform; so, what do people really want from their office, and how can businesses reshape their workplace experience to meet these new expectations?


In this blog, we’ll take you through the new role of the office, the birth of the modern workplace experience, and ideas of how to bring this to life with space.



THE NEW ROLE OF THE OFFICE.


Times have changed, and for the better. There’s no arguing that the pandemic left a lasting impact on the day-to-day operations of all industries; workstyles have evolved, hybrid work polices have emerged, and employee demands have grown. It’s now an employee’s market, and businesses need to come to the party, if they want to remain competitive that is.

The office now has a new purpose – collaboration and connection. Out with the old, and in with the new we say. Influenced by a myriad of economic factors, a new approach to workplace strategy has taken shape – aligned to talent preferences and aspirations, centred around workflow and connection, and unique and personalised experiences people can’t get anywhere else.


Introducing.... the NEW WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE.

Holistic and considered, the new Workplace Experience (WX) encompasses culture, experiences, social impact, and technology that will ultimately define the relationship between businesses, and their people; and she has never looked so good!


The impact to workplace design is that it needs to work harder than ever to deliver on all fronts, as the office is no longer just a place with a desk to punch out work, the office should be the heart and community centre of a business, and physical manifestation of an organization’s brand and culture. The good news is businesses are adapting (some quicker than others) to deliver a flexible and purposeful workplace solution that’s human centric; informed by data to really make a difference.


CREATING THE OPTIMAL WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE.


The first step to reimaging your workplace design is to evaluate your workplace needs – both culturally and operationally. With support from your internal PX teams, and an external workplace strategy partner, engagement surveys, space utilisation studies, and employee journey mapping will provide valuable intel to begin conceptualising a new layout and vision for the future.


Here, we’ve listed some thought starters centred around physical, human, and digital elements in the modern office that could support your new workplace experience.


A big fat caveat before you read on: these are ideas only, and before you act – we recommend a deep dive into understanding the needs and wants of your business, and people, designing your new workplace strategy, and determining your space requirements, and budget.

THE WAY FORWARD?


Data, and people.

Data will help inform workstyle insights, employee experience improvements, and portfolio optimisation strategies; and involving a broad cross section of end users who use the space will give your people a voice, allow buy in, and create a space really tailored to their needs – all integral to achieving a successful next generation workspace.

Fortune will favour the brave as proactive (and reactive) businesses who listen, and act, will be rewarded with a happy, more engaged, and productive workforce – everybody’s winner.

It’s not one size fits all. It takes time. Test and learn.

Humans crave personal interaction and connection. We collaborate and socialize and build relationships by being with one another. The office is where the magic happens. The office is certainly not dead, it just needs to be reimagined.


FINALLY...


In what can be an overwhelming piece of work, you are not alone. At PALM, we turn days in the office into the best part of your week. We have decades of experience in workplace strategy, space planning, and workplace design; and we literally foam at the mouth when we’re knee deep in this stuff. Purpose led designs. Spaces made for people. Built on trust. That’s us. Let’s get started today.




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