Financial services firms that are encouraging their staff to return to the office should prioritise office design if they want their policies to prove successful. That’s according to data from global workplace design experts, Unispace.
Responding to the move by some major finance groups to encourage staff to return to the office with either a range of perks or mandated days in the workplace, data from Unispace’s Returning for Good study suggests that it is not a lack of perks that is preventing employees from being in the workplace more often, but rather the environment. The study revealed that 65% of professionals within the financial services and banking industries struggle to do their core job when in the office due to the number of distractions.
The report also revealed that 57% of workers in the sector are reluctant to return to the office on a more regular basis. The individual reasons behind this reluctance include; preferring the privacy of working from home (34%), feeling more effective in a quieter home environment (31%) and being more productive when not in the office (24%). When it came to why they enjoyed being in the office, financial services professionals said they liked the social interaction (35%) and wanted the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues (29%) as well as having access to better IT facilities than at home.
Consequently, Unispace argues that financial services employers should consider the way they are using their available space and whether it aligns with what their workers need from the modern office, before investing in incentives that are misaligned with staff requirements or mandating returns.
Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO EMEA at Unispace, commented.
“While it is positive to see financial firms looking to encourage their staff back to the office, many tactics we’re seeing do not address the root cause of the reluctance to return that prevails. The only way these employers will see real, lasting change in behaviour and sentiment towards being in their workspaces is by designing these areas to enable productivity and efficient work.”
“This means listening to and engaging with your staff to find out what they really want. Our data shows that professionals enjoy having privacy and being more effective in quiet areas, but they are also looking for opportunities to socialise and collaborate. While these sound like two disparate concepts, being flexible with your office design and creating different areas that align with these needs will help really encourage people to return on a more regular basis.”
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