Two decades ago, working from home was considered a privilege that only a few high-ranking company officers and those who owned their own businesses experienced. Telecommuting in the ages of the internet and gig economy has become the norm for many companies and their employees. But remote workers still want their fill of office life.
Market research firm Clutch released a survey last month that gathered opinions of 503 full-time employees from various industries. The data found that 83% of workers preferred to spend some time in the office every week versus being fully remote. The 21st century office has become an accommodating retreat for creatives, particularly in the Bay Area where startups and innovation are perpetual. One business owner told Clutch that work-from-home employees need to feel that there is always a spot for them at the office when they want it, even if its not a dedicated workstation. Companies that fail to welcome all employees are essentially saying some workers belong at home and have no place in the overall office culture.
Of course if your remote worker crew consists of freelancers, its not a priority to invite them to the office. Full-time employees, however, should always feel welcome and even encouraged to soak up company culture around the rest of the team. That doesn't mean small companies must move to larger spaces to oblige the wishes of their workers. It simply requires some creativity to make the most of what you already have.
While 52% of workers said they prefer private offices, 28% prefer the open-floor plan and 20% prefer cubicles. Remote workers can literally have a private office whenever they want by staying home that day. Part of the reason many remote workers want to be in the office a few times a week is the social aspect. Solutions are abundant for creating a productive, social culture in the workplace.
Many companies add and update office lounge furniture to create workspaces in environments that also encourages collaboration. Standing desks are another fixture in 21st century offices that provide workers yet another option. Partitions are utilized to create private spaces for workers. Color schemes, plants, paintings and other items around the office get employees excited to come to work and be a part of it all.
Variety related to in-office workspaces plus the right mix of decor equals higher morale, which means higher productivity.
Workers were asked what they value most at work; 53% said personal space. It appears the representative companies in the survey listen to their workforces, as 74% of said employees reported having their own personal space. The daily tasks for most workers are both individualized and collaborative. Thus offices must create work environments that are accommodating to this realities.
The open office floor plan continues receiving mixed reviews from workers. Many companies have adopted it, but workers continually report frustration due to distractions that come with open office plans. Full-time remote workers coming to the office a few times a week are doing so to feel like they are part of the company. Open office plans are ideal for companies with more than half of its employees work remotely. That way when said workers are in the office, they are in a collaborative, social environment that allows them to thrive.
Eco Office has designed some of the most innovative workspaces in the Bay Area. Give us a call today at 510-369-3457 and one of our expert project managers will assist you in creating the perfect work environment for your company.-----------------------------
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Sacramento with her husband, daughter, and two cats. Samantha writes for several retailers and mommy bloggers, and runs an e-commerce store.