Attracting and retaining the best people is an ever-growing challenge. What can employers do to get an edge? National and international research shows that companies with an attractive workplace have considerably higher odds of attracting talent. This is confirmed by the international What Workers Want survey, conducted by property agent Savills. As much as 69% of the workforce cites workplace (or workplace adjustments) as the main factor when deciding on working for or remaining with an employer. The Savills survey was conducted among 11,000 office workers in 11 European countries. A notable conclusion is that if workers could change one thing about their current situation, workplace rates far above primary aspects like pay, management and co-workers.
Investing in the workplace sounds like a great idea, but where to start? According to head of agency Erik Beekman, it’s important to start at the basis. ‘Ball pits and pool tables are fun, but our research shows there’s one thing workers find truly important, and that’s the basics – the facilities. Things like Wi-Fi, air quality and temperature. According to our survey, these aspects are all too often neglected. Only 49% of office workers are satisfied with temperature and air quality.’
THE DOWNSIDE OF THE OPEN PLAN OFFICE
Aside from basic facilities, office layout is also important. As it happens, open plan offices are a common source of dissatisfaction. That’s because they have a downside, says Erik. ‘Lots of Dutch offices are designed on an open plan, but we’ve found that in practice many workers actually need a mix of different workspaces. They like working in an open plan office, but not all day. As much as 80% also want a quiet workspace every now and then. So make sure to have dedicated workspaces, where people can focus on working undisturbed.’
NO SUCH THING AS THE IDEAL WORKPLACE
Even with all these insights, Erik stresses that there is no such thing as the perfect work place. Employers do well to keep that in mind. ‘It’s a matter of to each his own. Younger employees don’t want the same things as older colleagues. But listening carefully will get you a long way, and that’s precisely what’s not happening often enough. At the moment, Dutch workers rate control over their own workspace with a 5.6 out of 10. So there’s big room for improvement there. Employees want to be heard and have a say. The key is to listen!’
WANT MORE INSIGHTS FROM THE WHAT WORKERS WANT SURVEY?
Erik would be glad to tell you more! Get in touch with him on +31 (0) 20 301 2029.