This personalisation is critical. Employees have invested money they’ve saved commuting in the homes they have suddenly found themselves spending considerably more time in. This is significant. 52.1% of employees questioned pre-pandemic, stated that personalisation of their workstation was important to them. Just 46.1% were satisfied with the level of personalisation they were afforded. (Respondents who participated in the Leesman office Survey on 2019 only, N=235,644).
Suddenly, in March 2020, employees found themselves beyond the reach of your design standards and facilities management rule book and were decorating their desks with the paraphernalia of their choice. And, as it became clear they were going to be home-based for a while, they started to look enviously at their teenager’s widescreen gaming monitor and decided to get one for themselves. This could sit on top of a pile of books, and no one commented. Photographs of kids, pen pots, elastic band balls, coffee cups in the form of favourite Star Wars characters were no longer considered anti brand.
And remember, the stark reality from a data perspective is that the average home supports the average employee better than the average office (Lmi 64.2, N=931,152 vs H-Lmi 74.3, N= 293,865 as at Q2 2022).
Of course, averages mask highs and lows. There are some great workplaces that have maintained their gravitational pull. Employees want to be back in these spaces because they brilliantly support them in their roles. Not five days a week, but enough that their value in organisational performance terms is clear. But there are also low-performing workspaces. These are littered with features that the employee has better provided for themselves at home. These spaces are liabilities for employee and employer. These spaces serve little organisational purpose.