A new poll has revealed that half of employees (49%) want spaces specifically designed for socialising and collaboration if they are to return to the office.
The survey of over 1,000 UK adults (in full or part-time work), commissioned by leading office designers MoreySmith, asked the public about their new expectations of work, following 14 months of Covid restrictions and working from home.
The survey also found that 44% of people feel access to outdoor terraces and gardens is an important consideration and one third would like to see secure bike facilities and showers on-site.
The poll comes after the Government says 25% of firms will allow home working after restrictions lift on June 21, but can agents really compete in enticing employees back to branch?
With many agencies looking to cut costs, downsize or close branches altogether, extra investment in an office redesign is not likely.
Outside of the physical office space, the research expanded on MoreySmith’s 2020 report, ‘The New Normal’, which examined employee attitudes to the new ways of working at the start of lockdown in March 2020.
Two thirds (66%) said flexible start times will be an important factor in their decision to return to the office while one in four employees (25%) would move to a four-day working week even if their wages were reduced by one fifth.
If agents can’t compete in the physical space, then it might be worth considering how to get staff back to branch with the promise of a more flexible approach.
Linda Morey-Burrows, Founder and Principal Director of MoreySmith, said: “We are finding that whilst many young people are desperate to return to the workplace for a better, more social working environment, employees with a long commute and young children are often more reluctant to stop working from home.
“As this polling demonstrates, it’s essential that workspaces are designed to encourage and stimulate this return to work. Offices must be created to cater for the new world with flexibility, comfort, outside spaces and sociability front of mind for designers.”