The Great Adaptations – 2023 Workplace Futures Survey, authored by Hassell senior researcher Dr Daniel Davis, presents a wealth of insights garnered from interviews with 3,500 office workers across various countries. It is the fourth edition of Hassell’s annual Workplace Futures Survey and tackles critical questions about the push to return to in-person workplaces and strategies to manage resenteesim or ‘reluctant returners’.

Here are the top five findings that illuminate the connection between office change and workplace contentment:

1. The shift towards on-site work

The report reveals a noteworthy trend – a decline in full-time remote work and a simultaneous rise in office-based work. This shift indicates that professionals are increasingly returning to physical office spaces, suggesting that the importance of the workplace environment will endure.

How to boost workplace satisfaction: 5 findings from Hassell research
NAB workplace by Hassell, photography by Nicole England.

2. Higher satisfaction from transformation

Companies that have embraced office transformations and redefined their work practices post-pandemic exhibit a remarkable 17 per cent higher satisfaction rate among their employees. This finding underscores the impact of change on overall workforce contentment and the absence of resenteeism, emphasising the value of adaptable office strategies.

3. Urban vibrancy

The survey uncovers a significant employee preference – a strong desire to work in locations integrated with vibrant amenities. Top-ranking amenities include grocery stores, green spaces, and quality coffee outlets. This indicates that employees are seeking office environments closely connected with their daily conveniences.

4. Economic downturn

Despite expectations that employers could use economic downturns as an opportunity to encourage employees to return to office settings, the research findings indicate otherwise. The data suggests that during challenging economic times, there is no substantial rise in the number of employees choosing to work from physical office locations.

5. Working in harmony

Workplace policies and workplace design need to be considered holistically rather than relegated to separate departments. The research shows that the most effective companies change both things in tandem – suggesting that real estate and human resource departments need to work more closely together.

How to boost workplace satisfaction: 5 findings from Hassell research
West Bund Public Realm by Hassell.

The report also offers a vision for crafting an exemplary hybrid workplace. It emphasises the need for multifaceted strategies that cater to diverse employee preferences. The top six most popular features of a successful workplace include:

1. Free lunch and food

2. Gardens and green spaces

3. Good coffee

4. Fresh air

5. Good food and retail nearby

6. Enough space to focus without distraction

Dr Davis points out that companies must align their office changes with updated policies that address new employee expectations, fostering an environment of inclusivity, engagement, and satisfaction.

“In this era of hybrid work, companies can’t afford to wait for economic conditions to change,” says Dr Davis. “They need to be getting the basics right – something that many offices fail to do – by providing the right spaces for collaborative and focused work. And they need to stack and aggregate a variety of amenities that not only address the unique requirements of different individuals but also cultivate an atmosphere of inclusivity and engagement.”

Read the full report here – Great Adaptations – 2023 Workplace Futures Survey.

Hassell
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