Next Wave Of Office Workers Value Company Culture Over Design

New research by Workthere shows that students value company culture over design or ‘fun’ office perks.
  • Research by Workthere suggests that the next wave of UK employees value substance over style in their choice of workplace.
  • Over 10 times more students rank company culture as the most important feature of a workplace compared to office design.
  • This includes values such as authenticity, individuality and diversity, which this generation ranks as highly important when deciding on their first place of work.

The next wave of employees in our UK workforce is more likely to value substance over style, according to Workthere’s Office of the Future report*.

The recent survey of 386 students from the flexible office specialist, in conjunction with Hello Student, states that over 10 times more students rank company culture as the most important feature of a workplace compared to office design (only 4% of students ranked design as the most important feature). This includes values such as authenticity, individuality and diversity which this generation has placed as key attractions when deciding on their first place of work.

Despite recent trends for “fun” workspaces, the next generation of workers feel that ping pong tables and a roof terrace are less important to their workplaces – instead placing importance on comfortable work areas, high quality WiFi, natural light, health insurance and a generous pension scheme.

Cal Lee, Founder and Head of Workthere, commented: “The data shows that there has been a seismic shift away from the “fun” workspaces which have attracted so many young graduates to-date. Our findings show that the emphasis has moved onto fundamental values which translate into different workplace priorities where culture is very much at the epicentre.” 

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Alongside this, the survey shows that flexible working is also key for the future workforce, with 83% of students viewing it as an important factor when embarking on a career. In order to accommodate this, companies will have to bear in mind how to factor this into office space.

Although hot desking is one way to respond to this trend, whilst helping to promote collaboration and provide opportunities for learning by osmosis, 79% of those surveyed still expect to have their own desk. This presents both challenges and opportunities for those companies to come up with space to accommodate both desk-based work and working from home on a regular basis.

Jessica Alderson, global research analyst at Workthere, added: “Our research shows that the students of today are incredibly informed with regards to what kind of office space is available to them. Over 60% of those surveyed would still like to work in an office, highlighting the importance of social interaction, a sense of community and idea sharing. Interestingly, the results show that we can expect to see more and more people looking to work for smaller companies (44% would like to work for a company of 11-100 people).

“Moving forward, we predict that occupiers will have to become even more attuned to the needs of the future workforce in order to attract not only the best talent, but also to encourage productivity and collaboration in the workplace; this will be the key to success.”

*The analysis in this report includes survey results from 386 university students living in accommodation provided by Hello Student. The average age of students living in Hello Student accommodation is 24. All of the students attend UK universities and their home countries include the UK, China, India, Thailand and the US.

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