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Collaboration, socialisation and wellness; the focus of the future workplace

A survey conducted by OBI highlights the progressive ways businesses have been transforming their workplace environment.

Property consultancy OBI has released data that shows agile ways of working have been received positively by 100% of businesses who have implemented this strategy.

After surveying over 100 occupiers from a variety of sectors, the report suggests, ‘many have moved towards a pragmatic approach to working with a particular focus on an agile/flexible working model as well as implementing social based initiatives to encourage employees into the office with the aim to strengthen culture and encourage a better work/life balance.’

Whilst flexible working has been embraced by the majority, offering employees the ability to work within and out of the office, there have been some negative impacts. 82% of responses stated that they have concerns that their less experienced team members have or will suffer from a lack of training and mentoring when working away from the office.

The data has also shown that occupiers see great value in managed workspace operators, with 72% considering the amenities provided a positive factor to a building.

Commenting on the report, Nathan Potts, Lead Designer & Workplace Consultant at OBI , said: “ Many employers have engaged in an agile working model and see it is important to the success of their business. However, this decision has not come at the sacrifice of office space. In fact the survey states the majority of employers have retained their current space, with some looking to expand.”

“The survey highlights what we have thought in the industry for some time, that the office environment plays a key role in attracting and retaining talent within a business. By focusing on wellbeing and an agile way of working”

Businesses would like to see the office environment as a hub for collaboration and socialisation with the majority of respondents stating that their employees would benefit from more of these spaces. It was also apparent that technology was a top priority in creating the ideal working conditions for a business.

Kate Demmerling, Interior Designer and Workplace Consultant at OBI, said: “The survey has identified the crucial role the office environment plays in supporting the ways in which we now work not only for the wellbeing of employees but for the overall success of a business. It has become clear that working away from the office has had a negative impact on many, especially in relation to team development, training and collaboration as well as being harmful to a business’s culture.”

“The office environment will continue to evolve in a positive way with a human centred focus at its core”

The survey was conducted amongst over 100 senior business leaders.

Industries surveyed included real estate and property, finance and professional services, construction and design, and technology, media, and telecoms.

Founded in 2010 by Will Lewis and Dominic Horridge, OBI has become a big player in the consultancy market. Its landlord and occupier clients include Aviva Investors, Allied London, Bruntwood, Kinrise, Property Alliance Group, Booking.com, AO.com and The Hut Group (THG).

OBI was responsible for 42% of transacted office space across Manchester in 2021.

Responses/Results can be found here.

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