When a company allows its workforce to work remotely, it benefits both parties. It gives the employee the flexibility they need to achieve a work/life balance. And the company saves on costs which go into having an employee on premises.
But according to a new report from Clutch, a large percentage of employees (83%) want at least some office time. And only 17% want to work only remotely.
Finding the right balance and making both options available is key for companies. And whether they work remotely or not, they have to be welcomed in the office anytime.
Kristen Herhold, who wrote the report for Clutch says businesses have to create office space that makes employees excited to come to work.
Herhold goes on to say, “Employees value time in-office because it helps them feel like they are part of a company’s culture. Employers should ensure there is a space for remote workers when they do come to the office.”
The report, titled “What Employees Want in an Office Space,” comes from Clutch’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Survey. Clutch surveyed 503 full-time employees across the U.S. made up of 61% female and 39% male respondents.
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Half of the respondents work in an urban area (50%); 38% work in a suburban area; and 11% work in a rural area.
Where Do Employees prefer to Work?
If your remote workers are not freelancers, you should make an effort to make your employees welcome anytime even if they choose to work remotely.
As Herhold says, feeling part of the company culture is essential for full-time employees. In the report, Bethany Babcock, owner of Foresite Commercial Real Estate, hits the nail in the head explaining the reason.
Babcock says, “Most work-from-home employees I know enjoy knowing there is a spot, even if not a designated spot, for them at the office when needed.” Adding, “The alternative sends the message that you belong at home, not here, and this isn’t your office.”
Only a small percentage of workers in the survey want to be fully at the office (11%) or work remotely (17%). The rest is a mixed bag of choices, with the majority (29%) opting for half remotely and half in office. Another 24% say mostly in-office and the remaining 20% mostly remotely.
There is no question working remotely provides multiple benefits, but for employees who are not freelancers, it can create a disconnect with company culture.
What Employees Want in an Office Space
The one thing this survey reveals is the different types of employees a company has within its organization. This raises the difficulty in making everyone happy in regard to the office space they like to work in.
The top choice for office space in the survey is a private office (52%). This was followed by 28% who prefer an open floor plan and another 20% cubicle offices. But the report says office spaces are trending toward open floor plans.
Considering the different tastes, the report says variation is key in an office. And the survey reveals businesses have a variety of location in place on their premises.
Almost 3 in 4 or 74% say they have personal spaces, with others responding they have places to relax (51%) and quiet spaces (41%). Large meeting rooms (56%) and collaborative spaces (53%) are also part of the new crop of office spaces businesses are including.
Which Space do Employees Value Most?
For 53% of the respondents, the answer is their personal space. But as Herhold says in the report, “The best kind of office is one that offers employees workspaces to accomplish their different tasks successfully, whether that involves quiet and privacy or collaboration and meetings.”
This may not be possible for small businesses with limited space and resources. But with the flexibility of remote work, it can be achieved.