What will bring workers back to the office? Many companies are banking on flashy, high-end office spaces filled with amenities such as onsite cafes, fitness centers and high-tech conference centers. But a new survey suggests that these amenities might not play much of a role in convincing employees to leave their home offices.
According to a survey of 1,000 U.S. office workers commissioned by essensys, only one in five respondents said that amenities would bring them back to the office. But 63% of respondents said that technology and flexible workspaces do inspire them to work in the office.
Of those workers, 34% said they returned to their offices, at least on a hybrid basis, because they liked the convenience and layout of their office space. An additional 27% said they liked having access to multiple workstations, while 26% said they valued their office’s more reliable WiFi.
The survey also found that 81% of respondents are frustrated with their current office experiences and 52% envy the technology available in other office buildings.
“Many of the conversations we have had on the return to the office have been around investment into top-of-the-line amenity space,” said Jeremy Bernard, North American chief executive officer of essensys, in a statement. “While creating an attractive physical space is important, it’s only one part of the puzzle. Our research revealed that the real driver is access to in-office tech.”
More than half — 56% — of the 1,000 U.S. workers surveyed said that the tech in their offices enhances their ability to work.
What tech do workers want in their office buildings? Building-wide WiFi, sensor-controlled lighting and climate control and the ability to access space and services across a network of locations.
“Technology can’t be overlooked as a tool in the back-to-the-office battle,” Bernard said. “Against today’s backdrop of economic uncertainty, this can’t be, nor should it be, ignored. The modern office is completely changing. If real estate strategies don’t evolve quickly and support today’s occupiers, there will be even tougher roads ahead in the fight to remain competitive and relevant.”