What Is the Ideal Workplace Environment?

April 28, 2016

4:00 pm

The key to happiness is loving what you do. But if you can’t do that, you might as well love where you do it. A nurturing workplace environment can make all the difference when it comes your profession. But with thousands of companies attempting to accommodate millions of employees, the right fit is difficult to find. Fortunately, one study has gotten down to the nitty gritty of workplace preferences and found out how people really feel about where they work.

The Way We Work, a study commissioned by Unify, surveyed 9,000 workers about their workplace environment. Naturally, many of the people surveyed hoped to work for a company that was creative, supportive, successful and innovative. No surprise there. But when it came to where they wanted to work, the answers were fairly consistent: anywhere but in the office!

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That’s right, a staggering 55 percent of knowledge workers said that they wished to spend between 10 percent and 50 percent of their working time outside of a traditional office setting. Only 7 percent of workers insisted they wanted to spend all of their time in their cubicle, while a very lazy 15 percent wanted to spend all their time working from the couch and watching Netflix.

Clearly, everyone is waiting with bated breath to hear their boss say, “Today, we’re working from home!” But that can’t possibly mean that having an office is less important overall, can it? Of course, it can! Thanks to the innovations in business-related technology, communication is easier than ever without being in the same room. Whether it’s the simplicity of messengers like Slack, or the convenience of video chat platforms like Google Hangouts, more and more employees are realizing that an office is hardly a necessity.

“69 percent of knowledge workers say that having a single office as a physical workplace is less important than it was in the past,” says the study. “And 49 percent report that their organizations operate through technology and communication rather than through offices and locations.”

Before any wild assumptions are made, let’s be clear: you cannot run a business through Facebook Messenger. Clients will not respond well when your main form of communication is tweets. According to the study, 68 percent of workers believed that, while remote working is productive, some form of face-to-face communication was necessary to keep business running smoothly. This means that video chatting is a must. Messengers are great for day-to-day operations and small issues. But if managers aren’t conferring with employees on a regular basis, big things are going to start falling through the cracks. And the last thing you want is for a little mistake to bring back that in-office culture.

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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