8 features that Australian employees want in an office!
Want to improve employee productivity and satisfaction?
The design and location of an office has a powerful influence on how people interact, work and feel about their job. A new report from real estate investment trust Dexus shows 53 per cent of SME executives expect to outgrow their office this year, so now may be the time for a new workplace design.
Dexus’ 2018 Workplace Report, based on a survey of 300 Australian executives in growing SMEs, shows 74 per cent believe their office impacts the job satisfaction of their employees and 71 per cent say it affects their productivity. It also reveals the eight features that employees really want in a workplace.
1. Location, location, location
An office close to cafes and shops is high on your staff’s wish list.
“Being near cafes allows employees to socialise at lunch time,” says Chris Hynes, head of Office and Industrial Leasing at Dexus. “A convenient location also means they can fit in chores, such as dropping off the dry cleaning.”
2. Right on the money
An office close to banking is highly valued.
“If the office is near essential services like banks, people feel like they can balance their life with their work a little better,” says Hynes.
3. Easy access
Employees would prefer to work in an office within 500m of a train station or public transport.
“This is paramount, especially in big cities,” says Hynes. “Many working families only have one car and driving in to work each day can be stressful for anyone.”
4. Speedy connections
A fast, reliable internet connection is essential for most modern-day businesses. Jacqueline Castillo, a change management specialist who has helped implement new workplace designs for organisations such as IBM and Medibank Private, says technology also helps facilitate new ways of working.
“Technology must allow employees to be mobile in activity-based workplaces,” she says. “This includes access to laptops and high-speed wi-fi, so they can work in various locations in an office.”
5. Back to nature
The Dexus report shows 49 per cent of respondents would like communal rooftop or other outdoor spaces.
“A connection to the outdoors can enhance workers’ sense of wellbeing,” says Hynes. “We’re also seeing vertical gardens inside offices to bring nature indoors.”
6. Quiet time
An office with quiet or chill-out zones is important for 45 per cent of respondents.
“Employers shouldn’t underestimate the value of quiet spaces, such as booths,” says Castillo. “They can help with stress management because they allow people to work uninterrupted.”
7. Fit for work
Almost half (47 per cent) of employees would love an on-site gym at their offices.
“There are also other ways to encourage fitness, such as providing secure bicycle storage or shower services for when people arrive at work after riding or running in,” says Castillo.
8. Health matters
More than 40 per cent would like to be able to access to health and wellness classes at work.
“Yoga or meditation classes enable employees to switch off for an hour,” says Castillo. “Providing these classes also shows that you care about the wellbeing of employees and this can help boost the sense of workplace satisfaction.”