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The new report by Microsoft Surface warns that UK businesses are failing to invest in improved, collaborative office environments, which could not only encourage staff back into work after the pandemic but improve output and performance for work done in office time.
More than four in five UK workers (83%) surveyed by YouGov on behalf of Microsoft Surface find themselves still in the same office environment as before the pandemic. Meanwhile, only around one-third (35 per cent) of IT decision makers (ITDMs) surveyed for the same report have been asked to consider whether the IT in their office is fit for their workforce today.
While it is clear that the whole way in which we work has changed irrevocably, for many our workplaces have not kept pace.
This could be damaging for businesses at a time when employee experience is vital to retaining talent in their teams.
The majority of those surveyed believe that office work is better suited to both socialising with colleagues (57%) and strengthening relationships (65%). However, the new research indicates that staff are stuck in uncollaborative patterns when they do venture into an workspace (71%) percent report "doing emails" every time they go into their offices. Additionally, barely one-third report their office space having investment from management for increased collaboration between team members.
But how can businesses adapt?
The Microsoft Surface report, The re-imagined office: not a re-design but a re-define, draws on the views of thousands of UK employees and more than 500 ITDMs The report highlights the importance for organisations to re-imagine their offices in order to prepare themselves well enough when facing a hybrid workplace.
The three dimensions highlighted by this research are collaboration, productivity and employee engagement; all of which require different considerations from business leaders like change managers or IT department heads who will be managing these aspects.
The report found that UK employees are most frustrated by the feeling they don't accomplish as much at work when compared to their remote counterparts. Factor in transportation costs, time spent commuting and reduced contact with family members and the mood becomes bleaker.
The most commonly cited requests when imagining a new office workplace are strong Wi-Fi (49%), followed by good air conditioning with temperature control and flexible work hours then good transport links.
Microsoft Surface Report three key steps
The reimagined office could be a reality. But to make it happen, you need three key steps from business leaders and change managers:
Need a connected office and help adapting your business to more collaboration.