Home Business News More than 40% of workers would return to the office for free food amid cost-of-living crisis

More than 40% of workers would return to the office for free food amid cost-of-living crisis

by LLB Finance Reporter
27th Feb 24 7:02 am

Despite a huge increase in the number of businesses adopting a hybrid working model,  new research from Crown Workspace has revealed that almost half (46%) of hybrid workers believe their office or workspace does not suit a hybrid working model and is in need of modernisation.

In recent months a number of businesses have requested a return to the office or an increase to the number of days spent in the office.

The research found 21% of respondents would feel more encouraged to return with the promise of better hardware and IT.  Other changes that would encourage them to return to the office would be having a pet-friendly office (18%) and an increase in plants or flowers in the building (15%) would also motivate them to go into the office more.

The research, conducted amongst 2,000 hybrid working adults in the UK, also revealed where changes to workspaces to support hybrid working are actually being seen. The biggest changes being made to office spaces includes reducing the number of desks (33%) with 28% working on a hot-desking system, the introduction of more private/ quiet areas (32%) and the introduction of more breakout areas for collaborative work (27%).

Other research findings include:

  • More than a fifth (21%) of hybrid workers said they were not consulted in what they wanted from their office workspace
  • Over 40% of hybrid workers said that free food and drink would encourage them to return
  • Nearly a third (27%) would be motivated by social events with colleagues
  • More than half (52%) of hybrid workers said they wanted to see a removal of 9-5 working days and a movement towards more flexible choice of hours

Jacqueline Bird, Head of Workplace Consultancy at Crown Workspace said: “For some time it’s been clear that businesses must focus on making sure their offices and other workspaces suit the changing needs of their team, which will vary greatly dependent on a variety of factors such as age and location. We recognise that employees are using the office in a different way than they were before the pandemic – using their office days to catch up and collaborate with colleagues or clients and then doing the bulk of their focused work from home.

“We’ve never seen such a big shift in our working lives so this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to examine what their employees really want and need and how they can ensure their offices are fit for the future. Businesses must adjust to the way that their offices are run in order to keep their employees engaged.  It’s also a huge opportunity to examine the effect of your carbon footprint in your workspace and make some meaningful changes.  We know a big issue is simply not knowing where to start, but if businesses don’t start making adjustments, they could find themselves losing out on great talent and future growth.”

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, said, “The workplace environment is one aspect of working life that its easily overlooked. But employers who take a truly holistic view towards creating a positive working environment can easily stay a step ahead of those who don’t.

“Being currently in the process of an office refresh ourselves, we’ve seen first-hand just what a difference it can make to employees. The use of calming colours and natural materials in the completed areas, new spaces designed specifically to encourage collaboration as well as break out areas for employees to use in their downtime, have all had incredibly positive feedback from our staff who love to use the ‘new’ office.

“With the labour market being tighter and more competitive than ever before, recruitment and retention are high on most employers’ agenda. And with more employers looking to bring staff back into the workplace, it’s vital to create an environment where people want to spend time. Although spending money on the workspace may seem like a luxury at a time when many business owners are tightening their belts, it could ultimately end up saving you thousands in recruiting costs.”

Crown Workspace provides a bespoke solution for all types of office and workspace change projects around the globe. The team’s global expertise spans across commercial and specialist relocations, moves and changes, IT services, furniture, interiors and storage.

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