Our analysis in The Workplace Revolution showed that there are certain activities, like ‘individual focused work, desk based’, that are crucial for organisations to support in order to provide an outstanding overall workplace experience. And for some people having a space where they can do focused, desk-based work is one of only five tasks that are important for their job, so if that space is being provided 1/5th of their activities are being looked after. But compare that to the employee who has over 20 activities as part of their role; if one of those tasks is focused, desk based work and this is supported, it still only accounts for 1/20th of their activity portfolio.
This is why employees with lower activity complexity generally have a higher Lmi2 compared to their colleagues who have high complexity in their roles. Ultimately this means that employees who have less variety in their roles feel more supported in their work.
In many ways this is hardly surprising, as it is easier to provide an environment that supports five activities than it is to provide one that supports 20. This challenge seems to be even greater in old workplaces. The workplaces where the Leesman Office survey was done prior to a change (i.e. surveyed in ‘pre’ phase) fail to support especially those with high activity complexity, suggesting that conventional office design – with only workstations and a few meeting rooms – is no longer fit for purpose for the more complex work that is done today. Newer workplaces with a variety of settings are more likely to cater to the variety of ways that technology allows us to work in.
This suggests that the employees within the organisation who have more complex roles will benefit the most from workplace change. Those within the lower activity complexity brackets still see an improvement, but it is not as significant.
Seniority within the organisation may give some indication as to how complex an employee’s role is. For example, if we look exclusively at senior leaders, only 12% are doing fewer than five activities, compared to the Leesman Global average of 23%. While there is no hard and fast rule here, it’s important to be aware of how many, and which, activities the senior leaders in your organisation are doing and how well the workspace is supporting them.
So which workplace features are important for different types of activities? We’ve looked at which features are statistically more important for employees who do certain activities, compared to those who don’t, which can help map out what infrastructure is needed depending on what is to be supported.
‘Individual focused work, desk based’ is the one activity that most employees do, regardless of activity complexity. Ninety-two per cent of all respondents in our database say that it’s important to them and it is safe to say that it is one of the basic activities that is a part of the majority of work profiles, also the ones with less variety. Statistically, the three most important features for this activity are ‘desk’, ‘meeting rooms (small)’ and ‘noise levels’.