Casual workplaces have become hugely popular around the world, with big names like Google leading the way.

Recently, a surprising survey by Udemy revealed that a lot of workers don’t like things getting too casual – in fact, they responded well to “smart casual” environments with just enough structure.

Whether you’re a commercial property owner or tenant, finding the right balance between casual and professional is crucial for every work environment.

The fine line between casual and crazy

Luckily, the days when employees would clock in and out of the office at the same time every day, wearing the same conservative suits and ties and taking orders without hesitation are long gone.

In fact, with the rise of tech companies, especially in the software and online industries, casual has become the norm at work. Some tech companies have gone to extremes, with beanbags, pizza, day trips to spas and organic farms, and even puppy cuddling sessions forming part of the 21st-century work culture.

Perhaps for this reason, it came as a surprise recently when the online learning provider Udemy conducted a survey of its users’ office preferences and found that there was such a thing as too casual after all.

  • More than 50% of the survey participants complained about workplace hugging, informal attitudes in person and in texts and emails, and the practice of bringing pets to work.
  • Less sociable workers or introverts may find the casual office environment stressful to navigate – especially if their work requires silence and focus to avoid errors.

These surprising results point to a trend whereby workers enjoy the casual, less stressful atmosphere of trendy modern office spaces, but also value a bit of structure. This is the balance that commercial properties should be offering.

Keeping things “smart casual” for optimum productivity

While many of the concerns raised by the respondents to Udemy’s survey are really HR or company culture-related, office spaces can help by providing spaces for both formal and casual activities.

By giving workers a lounge area for brainstorming and free conversation, and workspaces with a higher degree of privacy (including fully private meeting rooms), you’ll go a long way in establishing the ideal work environment.

If you’re a business owner searching for the ideal office space, contact us today. The Commercial Space team of area specialists is on hand to assist you.