Drawing on data from 12,700 (500 Serbian) office workers, ‘Rethinking Workplace: Serbia’ delivers insight into the key factors influencing employees' perspectives on working preferences in comparison to their European counterparts.
The Current Landscape
Despite recognising the importance of flexible working arrangements, Serbian office workers prefer an office space for heavier workloads. In fact, 73% relate higher productivity with a quiet, private office setting.
Notably, the balance between collaborative, energetic environments and quieter private settings presents key considerations for workplace design.
On the one hand, employees identify quieter, more private spaces having higher levels of productivity. But on the other, 46% of Serbians reported feeling a strong sense of ‘work purpose’ (able to be their true selves and fulfil their potential), is perhaps because of the energising and collaborative environments they’re working in.
Finding the right balance
For Serbia, finding the sweet spot between being office and home-based; and providing areas for ‘deep work’ - without diluting the energy that collaborative coworking brings - will be important for the future of worklife and workplace design.
86% of Serbian office workers see the growing convergence of home and work life as a positive, feeling it brings greater flexibility as a benefit. This mirrors a European wide shift in the way worklife is viewed, with a staggering 53% increase in positive sentiment across the continent.
What workers want
While there is demand for flexible working arrangements and an appetite for ‘worklife’, there is still a strong desire for a dedicated work space, whether that be co-working or private. Almost three-quarters want an office to go to and recognise they work best away from home and alongside their colleagues.
Importantly, the most pressing employee concerns regarding office spaces were noise (31%) and indoor air quality (27%), highlighting that invisible issues matter and employees health and wellbeing should be at the forefront of workplace design.
“43% of workers say they receive no work perks.”
Other than France, Serbia’s professionals receive the fewest additional work benefits and feel most strongly that having such schemes in place would positively impact their worklife. In particular, a significant number (21%) would like to see health and wellbeing packages more widely adopted including incorporating mindfulness, alternative therapies, exercise and nutrition.
The research shows that as a nation, Serbia likes both the structure and culture that comes from being based in an open-plan office.
The collaborative spaces work well for keeping the workers energised and feeling good about their contributions and by addressing the noise issues, alongside the wider commercial design community, Serbia’s offices and co-working spaces could be among the happiest, most productive in Europe.
Furthermore, through establishing improved work benefits and effective health and wellbeing initiatives, employers will have the opportunity to sustain and improve their already high levels of employee fulfillment throughout the nation.
For more insight into how Serbia benchmarks against the rest of Europe and the USA, download the ‘Rethinking Workplace: Serbia Overview' report here.
*Please note: this research was carried out before the global Covid-19 pandemic. We are, however, already in the process of researching the impact the pandemic has workplace trends across the world. Keep your eyes peeled for the first results coming soon on our 'Rethinking Workplace Hub' here.
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