As office workers across the UK embrace new patterns of hybrid working, they are spending less time in the office than before the pandemic. With this flexibility comes a new set of challenges for workplace design. Our latest UK Workplace Survey reveals that employees still need the office as a vehicle for productivity, but it requires critical changes to make it a destination of choice.
Employees report that they need more time in the office to maximise their productivity.
UK-based office workers are spending less than half of their typical work week in the office — a significant decrease from the average time spent in the office in 2016. Yet, when asked how much time they need to spend in the office to maximise their individual and team productivity, time spent in the office jumped to two-thirds of the week on average and 75% of the week for workers at the most innovative companies.
Choice within the office is vital for workplace performance and experience.
More than four in five office workers who say they have a great workplace experience have choice in where they work within their office. A diverse spectrum of spaces to choose from positively contributes to workplace effectiveness and experience. For the UK workforce, spaces that support rest, quiet individual work, and creative group work have the greatest impact on space effectiveness and experience.
78% of hybrid workers would be willing to come into the office more often for the right experiences.
Curating the right experiences is a key driver to increase the frequency of which employees are willing to come into the office. Of those who are working in the office less than 80% of the time, almost half said they would be willing to come into the office one additional day per week if their organisation offered their ideal mix of experiences. When offered eight choices of everyday experiences, respondents favored coffee shop and boutique hotel experiences. If the right mix of experiences are offered, the younger generation of workers are the most willing to come into the office more often.
UK Workplace Survey 2023 Methodology
The Gensler Research Institute conducted an anonymous, panel-based survey of 2,022 UK-based office workers between November 3 and December 26, 2022, using a third-party panel provider. The workplace research is part of a larger study of 14,000+ office workers across nine countries conducted in Q3/Q4 2022. At the time of the data collection, respondents were required to be working from the office at least some of the time, excluding fully remote workers and workers who had not returned to the office since the start of the pandemic. Respondents are distributed across nine client industries and represent a broad cross section of demographics, including job role, company size, age, commuting distances, and geographies across the UK.
Download the full UK Workplace Survey 2023 to explore how the workplace can offer experiences and spaces that respond to the needs and desires of UK-based office workers. Our data provides key insights into where design interventions can be made to improve the overall effectiveness and experience of the modern office.