Employees have “new” needs and expectations from their employers, some experts say that these were already present pre-Covid 19. The pandemic just made them more prominent.
Gensler Research and Insight looked into current trends that help companies thrive with the new set of demands, needs and expectations from employees. 1. Mobility: Remote work is non-negotiable with workers. Contrary to conservative business leaders’ belief, Gensler said despite remote work, strong productivity is maintained. Similarly,
Gallup writes that in order to attract a new generation of talent, companies will have to adopt a forward-thinking mobility strategy. The most recent Gensler Workplace Surveys in the US and among global regions found that those in a “hybrid model,” or those balancing days at the office with working from home appear more deliberate with how they use their time, have better awareness of what their colleagues are working on, and have higher job satisfaction overall.
Choice: Employees’ variety of work settings must now include the home. In 2016 a survey by Gensler found that innovative companies spend more time collaborating away from their desk and spend only about 3.5 days (74%) of their workweek in the office. That doesn’t mean that there is a one-size-fits-all strategy for all companies: many workers depend on specific resources at their office. But the nature of work is changing — we’re becoming more versatile, agile, and collaborative. Offering the option to work from locations employee desire is an emerging trend that is worth looking at.
Privacy: Many workers already struggled to find privacy in the workplace — now they expect to maintain the privacy they have become accustomed to at home. Gensler said that the trend toward more open environments has led to the rise of shared or unassigned seating to provide more space for collaborative areas for group work, but to the detriment of space for focusing or personal use.
Unassigned seating: Already on the rise, but with new employee concerns about sharing. Just months before the pandemic sent office workers home, the Gensler Workplace Survey 2020 reported that workplace effectiveness was in decline. And those in unassigned seating were struggling the most. We reported that those who adopt unassigned seating must do so deliberately and strategically. But COVID-19 complicates matters. Workers overwhelmingly favor a desk assigned only to them and are not willing to trade an assigned desk for increased flexibility to work remotely. Organizations will need to develop innovative space reservation programs to balance space utilization, employee and team schedules, and safety considerations.
Health & well-being: Great workplace always supported more than just work — now people expect health and wellness to be built into everything.