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Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
Mon, 8th Aug 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.

The study shows a definitive link between successful workplace design and worker wellbeing and productivity. This comes as investment in employee experience continues to grow rapidly as work systems and places change.

Titled the ‘Voice of the Employee' Research, results found that more than half (52%) of all knowledge workers within Australia and New Zealand want the ability to choose where they work, further exemplifying the pressing need for employers to understand and adapt to the reality of hybrid work as the norm and the role collaboration technology plays in its successful delivery.

There was also a need shown for flexible hours (47%), and 32% of respondents said they would prefer a four-day work week with longer hours as opposed to the traditional 9-5.

And space was a significant factor in drawing people back to the office. Businesses are now focusing on workplace design and technology to help create better workable spaces that promote healthy office culture and acknowledgement of hybrid work.

Ecosystm's findings showed that 32% of organisations are increasing the number of quiet open spaces, while in Australia/New Zealand, 22% are also setting up more ‘hot desks' for workers who spend time both in the office and working remotely.

Additionally, while 21% of respondents said they are increasing the size of the meeting rooms, most are choosing a different approach, creating smaller, purposeful meeting and huddle rooms.

Other ways to promote positive EX are workload storage, collaboration capacity, employee wellbeing trackers, and cyber risk management. It can also include virtual whiteboards, noise cancelling headphones, and voice and video equipment.

Neat regional director ANZ Paul Falzon says that businesses need to think about where they aren't prioritising staff welfare, and finding these gaps can allow them to focus on creating better workspaces.

“One of the main components of a successful hybrid workspace is technology. Due to the pandemic and its repercussions, remote working is now considered standard in many businesses,” he says.

“However, given the rapid move to hybrid workplaces, we must think about where the gaps are for a hybrid workforce and how to further expand and adapt our technology investment for the benefit of our workforce. The employee experience (EX) should be prioritised at the centre of every organisation to guarantee that our teams are supported both professionally and personally.

Ecosystm principal advisor Audrey William agrees, saying that designing workplaces to suit employee needs is paramount to success.

“To successfully transition to a virtual-led, hybrid work model, organisations need to act swiftly or risk getting left behind. As businesses make the move into this next phase of recovery and growth, it's crucial to understand how we can design our workspaces and leadership teams to give employees what they want and need including best in class technology.