Why office space still matters to your employees

More than a third of employees still want to work in the office post-pandemic, finds a new survey from Nespresso Professional, Nadia Moore, featuring Adam Scott


From its partnership with Future Laboratory to its ever-expanding content library, over the past two years Nespresso Professional has positioned itself as an expert in the future of work. In August, the premium coffee provider surveyed more than 500 UK employees across 11 different industries to discover how they felt about returning to the office, what they expected from their employer and their workspace, and what the future of work might look like in light of the pandemic. Nespresso Professional also interviewed a panel of seven industry experts to see what they thought about the future of work.

While it was clear from the results that remote working is here to stay, the survey also found that employees are more eager to return the office than has been anticipated: although 49 per cent of businesses expected to spend more time working from home than before, a substantial 35 per cent of employees said they would be happy to return to their workplace if the conditions were right.

“People work more effectively at home for individual work, but they are missing the community aspect and the sense of belonging you get within the workplace,” said member of the Future of Work interview panel Linzi Cassels, principal and design director at architecture and design firm Perkins + Will.

However, as new technologies enable greater freedom and flexibility for employees to work away from the office, it seems businesses will need to adapt their workspaces to meet employees’ shifting needs.

“Organisations will have to offer more than just working from home to appeal to their employees and future talent,” Cassels said. “They need to offer a new workplace experience which includes more amenities. Space needs to be dynamic and more representative of the value and ethics of the company.”

While employees agree that the future office will need to change, it appears they are divided on what it should look like. Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of employees said a space for centralised socialising and creative thinking was important, while another 18 per cent preferred the idea of a mixed-space building used for multiple purposes by the whole community. Meanwhile, 18 per cent of respondents looked to a “cubiclised” environment where multiple meetings and catch-ups could take place simultaneously.

“Businesses will need to find a way to tempt employees into the office, and away from their homes,” said panel member Adam Scott, founder and exec creative director at design agency FreeState. To achieve this, Scott believes the workplace will start to transform into a “branded home”, which could look like a corporate campus with curated programmes that deliver collaborative and engaging employee experiences through enhanced amenities and multifunctional spaces.

In the wake of the pandemic, many businesses have turned to third spaces such as co-working offices to ensure their employees still have a place to connect, collaborate and socialise. The survey found this trend is set to continue, with 34 per cent of enterprise businesses seeing themselves using collaborative spaces in the future.

As employees familiarise themselves with these spaces, their expectations become clear, with 46 per cent of those already using co-working spaces expecting a kitchen area, and 34 per cent expecting premium food and drink.

These aren’t the only areas where employees’ needs are shifting. Find out more about how Covid-19 has affected the future workplace, how wellbeing and sustainability remain a top priority, and the role premium coffee breaks play in connecting employees by downloading the full Nespresso Professional whitepaper.


Written by Nadia Moore, public relations manager at Nespresso
This article was first published in Business Reporter

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