American office occupancy hit a post-pandemic high in mid-October according to Kastle Systems, as U.S. workers adapt to the new workplace trends and find a hybrid model that works for them. While workers may be back at their desks, their old workplace preferences may not be what they once were.
The increase in remote and hybrid work in the past few years has given many American office workers a chance to learn what they value in their workspace and the type of working environment that brings them the most success.
Fellowes Brands conducted a survey of American office workers that provided some insight into how offices can leverage workspace design to address the dynamic needs of their employees. Notably, the survey found that 58% of office workers said access to a private work area at their office is very important to producing their best work. Unfortunately, just 35% of respondents completely agree that their employers currently provide a workspace where they can concentrate and produce their best work.
Nearly half (45%) of survey respondents reported they continue to work in a hybrid model (working from home at least one day a week), which places in-person offices in competition with home offices and other remote working locations. The autonomy and flexibility that hybrid employees experience in their remote workspace is guiding their in-office workspace preferences: greater privacy and more adaptable work areas are paramount for an employee to feel they can do their best work.
So, how can employers address this deficit to ensure their workplace is one where employees want to work and can feel their most productive?
Forgo open floor plans and low-height cubicles in favor of modular office spaces that offer more privacy.
Because American workers prioritize private work areas twice as much as collaborative spaces, it’s critical that employers provide access to more private spaces that employees can use to focus. Adding more private work areas into a space doesn’t have to be a floor-to-ceiling renovation, either: Fellowes’ moveable wall solutions can transform an open floor plan into private spaces without major construction, and can adapt as the needs of your organization change over time.
Focus on flexibility.
According to the survey, most American workers desire flexibility in their desk setup (82%) and computer monitor setup (80%) to produce their best work. Provide a variety of desk and monitor solutions to fit the varying needs of your workforce, and communicate to employees that they should feel empowered to make their workspace work for them. Check out Fellowes’ desk and monitor arms for inspiration into how to offer a flexible space for employees when they’re in the office.
Get employee feedback – and apply it.
Just 24% of respondents completely agree that their employer cares about their input when setting up personal employee work areas. With such little confidence in their voice being heard, it’s not surprising that many employees may prefer a remote work setup where they can have greater autonomy. To understand your workforce’s changing needs, ask for feedback from your employees on a consistent basis, and prioritize your investments to be in line with what your workforce says will make them feel the most successful.
Creating a workspace where employees feel their best helps them get “in the zone” to do their best work, which translates to greater productivity for your organization. Small changes to your office space or individual workspaces can make a significant difference to an employees’ productivity. Contact Fellowes today to get started on building the ideal workspace for yo