Location, Location, Location is What Workers Want

02 May 2013

A NEW study released by the British Council for Offices (BCO) and Savills today reveals that location would strongly influence the majority of employees when deciding whether to take a new job.

The report, What Workers Want, highlights that Generation Y (18-34 year olds) in particular rated location as a bigger influencer (73%) on employment decisions than older respondents (64%).

The poll of 1,168 office workers across the UK, carried out by YouGov, investigated the impact of office moves and refurbishment.

Interestingly, older workers rated access to Wi-fi more than younger workers. Nearly half (45%) of over 55-year-olds rated it as very important in their ideal workplace compared to just 36% of 18-24 year-olds. This may be due to the increasing adoption of iPads by corporates, particularly for those in senior management positions.

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive at the British Council for Offices, said:

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that the needs of office workers, after years of uniformity, are ever more diverse. The advent of new technology and more innovative approaches to workplace design along with the growing age range of office workers are likely to accelerate this trend.

“The report emphasises that staff retention, productivity and happiness can all be bolstered by being in-tune with modern workplace issues, which is something all occupiers should be aware of.”

Marie Hickey, Associate Director, at Savills, said:

“TMT organisations have raised the expectations of employers with ‘Google like’ fit outs being linked to higher productivity levels but what’s really key is getting the basics right within a less traditional fit out irrespective of business sector.

“You don’t necessarily need to ‘wow’ staff or prospective occupiers – space, comfort, good lighting, kitchen facilities and Wi-fi will have huge value and won’t necessarily break the bank.”

When it comes to workers who chosen an office fit-out, there was on the whole a marginal preference for a design-led approach over a standard corporate design. Typically, those from the media and creative sectors showed the greatest preference (72%), but those from traditional business services are also becoming more receptive to this (56%).

Surprisingly, given the hype around Google’s headquarters, a smaller number (51%) of technology/telecommunication respondents noted a preference for a less traditional design – suggesting the requirements and preferences of the TMT sector are too varied to be grouped together.

Fit-out preferences for Generation Y'ers leaned towards design-led, with offices such as Mind Candy and Innocent Drinks capturing this demographic’s imagination. This preference is even more pronounced amongst those aged 18-24 years-old, with 43% preferring a non-traditional fit-out as opposed to 28% whose preference was for a standard corporate design.

However, delivering a bespoke, funky fit-out could potentially offer the greatest productivity gains. 60% of respondents in a non-traditional fit-out said that it improved their productivity.

Despite the emergence of new technology and working practices, the top three features of an ideal workplace remain conventional - with comfort, temperature and lighting ranked as the most important.

Want to find out more?
BCO members can download a copy of What Workers Want for free.

If you're not a member of the BCO then we invite you to read about all the benefits of membership and sign up.

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