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.
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.
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.
The Great Indoors Newsletter
Latest insights, delivered straight to your inbox