Meeting employee expectations in the work environment

2022 promises to be an interesting year, with the trajectory of the pandemic changing in many countries with rumblings of a lesser yet all the same worrying fifth wave, coupled with worries about the Conflict in Ukraine and the world economy as a whole.

For business owners, one thing is certain: the world we knew in 2019 is gone for good and workers’ expectations have been transformed as the economy moves online.

In this article, we take a look at the extreme flexibility that has become the norm in business organisations around the world and how our new style of working and collaborating is changing the face of commercial space for good. 

Glimmers of hope in a scary world: going back to the office in 2022

Since the pandemic began some of us have just been waiting for the day when we could wake up, look our best, and head to work again. In many countries, 2022 could be the year when this happens – but that doesn’t mean that life is returning to a pre-pandemic normal. 

  • With an end to lockdowns in the UK and other major countries, the official end of the pandemic may be in sight, even as COVID-19 lingers in many populations around the world. 
  • While understandably hesitant, most employees are still looking forward to returning to normal life while managers are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, the great resignation has seen millions of people quit their jobs or opt for remote working positions to make the most of their flexible hours and the chance to live in places that offer better quality of life.

In the current scenario, with team members likely to quit and seek employment with a more flexible competitor, business owners will need to understand and meet employee expectations better than ever before.

40% of people are ready to quit – make sure they’re not on your tea

Imagine coming into the office one day to find that 40% of your team no longer works for you. Once the initial shock has passed, you’ll be scrambling to find replacements, keep important business processes going on a skeleton staff, and prevent clients from realising that you have a serious capacity shortage on your hands.

With more than40% of workers surveyed in the recent US poll by Microsoft suggesting that they might quit their jobs in the next year, this scenario could unfold in any number of businesses. To avoid an exodus of staff, you need to build and manage an organisation that people actively want to work for. 

Flexibility is essential in 2022 and beyond

Today, more than 70% of workers are in favour of flexible work, having gotten used to the comforts of working from home without the traditional office place interruptions. On the other hand, 65% of them crave more interaction with fellow team members. 

These two statistics may seem like a contradiction at first, but they tell us something crucial about the future of work: a total redesign of the office is needed, with flexibility and team collaboration in mind.

  • Digital fatigue is a major problem affecting work from home employees, with many survey respondents saying that their company doesn’t care about their work-life balance. 
  • 59% of employees who replied to the Microsoft survey said they were overworked, and 39% feel exhausted. 
  • A major cause of this feeling of fatigue could be the constant chats and mail messages that are part of working from home. 

As a business owner, it’s worth considering how many of your company’s daily communications are strictly necessary and limit digital messages accordingly to avoid tiring out remote team members. 

Jen Zs need extra support 

The 18 to 25 age group has been strongly affected by the pandemic, with 60% of respondents in this category saying they’re barely getting by financially and careerwise. 

Many of these workers are in the early stages of their career and find it difficult to progress without the usual contact with team members and senior mentors. 

  • Gen Z workers are digital natives and bring a wide range of 21st-century skills to the table, especially where social media is concerned. Mentoring them and working with them to help them perform at their best is crucial.
  • Extra support and career opportunities are essential incentives to keep younger workers on your team at a time when the “Great Resignation” is luring Gen Zs away from traditional employment. 

Choose an office location that’s flexible and meets employee expectations

In the era of flexible working arrangements, your commercial office space needs to be a place that team members love coming to – not a place they can’t wait to leave. 

Choosing premises that are modern, conveniently located, and feature plenty of comfortable collaboration spaces and features like gyms and recreational amenities is an excellent first step on the road to business flexibility. 

If you’re in the process of choosing a new business location this year, we’d love to help. Contact the Commercial Space team today to get started. 

Image courtesy of