As part of our ongoing research into the wants and needs of Europe’s office workers, we unveil our biggest set of results to date. The big takeaway? Employees want more flexibility, but some businesses are still resistant to change.

Rethinking Workplace: European Snapshot explores the key trends across 11 European countries, uncovering the most pressing issues and current desires of 5,500 employees in the Netherlands, UK, France, Italy, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Czech Republic.

The current landscape

When looking at the research overall, there’s one defining message: people want greater flexibility. And that is specifically in terms of when they work. 62% believe they are at their most productive in the office, but highlight that meeting their responsibilities both at home and when at work is “a constant juggling act”.

Could the solution be ‘worklife’?

Worryingly, 71% of the European workforce currently undertakes more than their contracted hours, with 9% stating that meeting their responsibilities in and outside of work is an “impossibility”. Despite this, 46% still feel they can “be themselves and achieve their full potential” in their current place of employment.

Therefore, although worklife is perceived, on the whole, as beneficial to greater personal and professional wellbeing, for some, it actually seems to be having the opposite effect by creating additional work.

“Younger people want stronger boundaries between work and life. They’re building the barriers back up.”
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What workers want

When it comes to health and wellbeing, there are two main concerns across Europe. Excessive noise levels and poor indoor air quality were each selected by 26% as the areas employees would most like to see improvements.

Quieten the noise

In France, Italy and Denmark, noise was highlighted as a key concern, despite the fact that private offices are most popular - potentially alluding to there being less audio distraction.  

Breathe easier

For Belgium, Romania and Czech Republic, poor indoor air quality was stated as the main workplace issue. This is reflective of national statistics in these regions, which show high rates of outdoor air pollution.

According to the designers in our focus group events, though, the underlying reason for these concerns is, in actual fact, control. They believe that for employees to feel truly fulfilled in their workspace, they require a certain level of command over their environment.

Do you agree? Discover the full set of European insights by downloading Rethinking Workplace: European Snapshot here.

Rethinking workplace - European overview
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Anette Timmer EMEA Marketing Director Worplace and SSHL, Tarkett Full bio and articles

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