Most employees want less time in the office, more at home, and are calling on employers and landlords to create inspiring workplaces with a greater emphasis on personal wellbeing, according to a global survey from JLL.
The latest edition of JLL’s Top 10 Commercial Real Estate Trends revealed that 74 per cent of 2000 people surveyed want to switch to a four-day work week, while 71 per cent said a more flexible schedule appealed.
Exactly half of respondents wanted to split their working hours between the home and office, 26 per cent wanted to do all their work from home while 24 per cent said the office was their preferred workplace.
But when it came to solving work issues (69 per cent) or collaborating with colleagues (70 per cent), the office was overwhelmingly deemed the best option, well ahead of a third-party location with home a distant third.
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More health and wellbeing services would also be welcomed by most employees, who are returning to their offices across Australia’s central business districts in ever growing numbers.
Michael Greene, head of tenant representation at JLL, said COVID-19 has been a catalyst for change, giving all concerned a real taste of what working from home means, and landlords must evolve how offices look and function to ensure they remain relevant.
“I think there will be moves towards changing the style of the office to make it a meeting place, a collaborative place, not just a place to do concentrated work,” Mr Greene said.
“People want to feel comfortable and employers will need to do more to attract them into the office because a lot of the process work can be done very well at home.”
Making offices warmer and more homely, using plants, timber and natural finishes, broken up with creative work spaces is a logical step forward, he said.
Tenant adviser Steve Urwin, director at Kernel, said getting people back to the office was essential for big office landlords such as Dexus, Investa and Lendlease as their future depends on it.
However, he argued that their vested interest – and those of employers looking at an empty office and considering how much money will be wasted over the tenure of their lease – obscures the real question.
“I think the whole concept of ‘how do we entice employees back to the office’ comes from a really closed mind. I would say ‘why do we want to entice them back to the office?’,” Mr Urwin said.
For Mr Greene, the answer is connection. “The longer people do not come into the office, the sooner that horizontal connection will start to break down,” he said.
“You feel that you don’t know most of your colleagues, you have never met them. Once that connection breaks down, that is when office life will swing back, though not to where it was before.”
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Originally Appeared On: https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/office-model-under-threat-as-staff-want-more-time-at-home-jll-1046427/