Rethinking Physical Workspace Helps Improve the ‘Human Experience’ for Employees, Says JLL

CHICAGO — In its most recent study on the workplace, JLL has found that helping people feel good on the job is more than a ‘box-ticking” exercise in trying to achieve work-life balance. A place of work is far more than a property. It is a living environment that helps individuals and businesses craft and experience a better fusion of life and work.

One of the key findings from the report, entitled “Workplace Powered by Human Experience,” is that workplaces must provide a broader range of innovative spaces to meet employee expectations and attract and retain talent. The design and configuration of workplaces will evolve to put human experience at the heart of modern workspaces, and understanding the ecosystem in which employees operate and thrive is critical to business success as aesthetic solutions alone are no longer enough.

The report finds that an ideal work environment is a mixture of collaborative space and support services, including coffee and tea shops, lounges, terraces, war rooms, service desks, creative spaces and “incubators” that feature dedicated space for employees and external talent to develop personal projects.

The space provided by a company can directly impact employee experience levels. New types of spaces can facilitate new ways of working and contribute to an overall more positive experience and fulfillment within their workplace.

Overall the report looks at how workplace experience can help businesses thrive in the new world of work. The study is part of JLL’s recently launched Future of Work research program and includes a tool called the “Human Experience model.”

Some of the report’s key insights include:
• Nearly 70 percent of participants agreed that happiness at work is the best ingredient to guarantee a unique work experience. Nearly 90 percent of all respondents support the idea of having a Chief Happiness Officer at work, dedicated to employee wellbeing.
• While large corporations continue to attract more talent (61 percent) than the smaller ones, almost half (46 percent) of respondents said they aspire to work in a start-up environment and that they crave an entrepreneurial culture.
• Only 40 percent of respondents on average feel very engaged at work. They consider trust and kindness – which can be fostered through agile workspaces – the biggest positive impacts on their engagement at work.
• Only 52 percent of employees admitted being entirely satisfied with their current work environment, and 42 percent revealed feeling completely ready to move from their personal desk to open-plan offices or unallocated seats in order to access new innovative workspaces.
• Almost half of respondents (47 percent) think that being able to concentrate in the workplace is a top priority, calling for a stronger focus from companies on giving employees a choice about how, when and where they work.

Click on image to view a larger size photo

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“The future of work is actually more about people than you might think,” says Neil Murray, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) CEO of corporate solutions at JLL. “Organizations can no longer focus only on providing space to work; they need to create places that enable people to achieve their ambitions. Appealing to what people want can have transformational benefits to businesses.”

Findings of the report are based on consultations with 40 companies around the world and the results of a survey of more than 7,000 employees across 12 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were between 18 and 65 years of age and worked at companies with more than 100 employees.

“Our study shows that work places and work spaces have a key role to play, both strategically and operationally, in fostering engagement, empowerment and fulfillment at work,” says Marie Puybaraud, global head of corporate research at JLL.

Click here for more information on workplace experience and its impact on business performance.

— Staff Reports

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