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Places People Prefer

The Office
Agenda

The Office Agenda brings together our extensive insight into what makes an office that people – from employees to the board – prefer.

Places People Prefer

The Office
Agenda

People

Mind the gaps

We asked office workers how satisfied they are with various features of their current location. Reducing some of the most notable satisfaction gaps could help businesses to improve talent attraction and retention

Around 50% of British office workers are looking to change jobs this year, according to British Land research. Although the reasons will be varied, the research shows that office features and location play a significant part in workers’ decisions about whether to stay with their current employer. According to the survey of 1,000 office workers from around the UK, 39% have previously switched jobs to improve the location and features of their office.

Top of the wish list, unsurprisingly, is location. According to the survey, 98% of workers rated location as important, while 87% said the same about public transport links. These are clearly the uppermost concerns for employees and need to be correspondingly high on the list of priorities when a company is selecting a new office location.

Simple steps

There are other steps that companies can take to improve employee satisfaction and boost retention.

Safety and security, for example, were rated as important by 91% of respondents, but only 81% were satisfied. Jonathan Schulten, Associate Director, Security & Business Resilience at Broadgate Estates, says there’s a simple reason security is top of mind. “We live in a multimedia age where most news, good or bad, is learnt by most people extremely quickly,” he explains. “I’m sure that influences workers’ perceptions of the need for security – even more so than it did 10 years ago, say.”

He adds that, in his experience, occupiers’ requests for security advice are largely event-led. For example, after the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, he found himself being asked for more reassurance than usual.

As for the lower percentage of respondents who say they are satisfied with the safety and security measures at their office premises, Schulten points out that 81% is still a high figure. The gap may simply reflect the fact that individuals are unaware of the full range of security measures that are in place, in which case employers could boost satisfaction simply by making a greater effort to inform their staff about these measures.

Blurred lines

With 68% of workers saying the lines between work and social lives are increasingly blurred, increasing numbers want to work in an office where there are interesting activities to take part in during lunchtimes and evenings, and where there’s plenty of choice of places to eat and drink. Indeed, 81% of workers say having a good selection of food and beverage venues nearby is important to them, but only 72% are satisfied with the food and drink venues on offer.

Communal working areas were also highlighted as highly desirable, with 84% saying they were important, but only 71% saying that they were satisfied with those currently provided to them.

The gap becomes more notable when you break it down by generation: 95% of Millennials (those under 30) want communal working and meeting areas, but only 70% are happy with those on offer – a significant gap of 25 percentage points.

Given that Millennials will make up a large proportion of the workforce over the coming decades, it’s clear that there is an opportunity here to increase their satisfaction with their current workplace – but it may require employers to rethink the way they use their office space.

Tagged in: FACILITIES, LOCATION, SECURITY, TALENT

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