Savills plc

09/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/14/2021 08:17

The 10 factors EMEA employees consider most important as they return to the office

There's no doubt that the return to the office has gained significant momentum over recent months and is set to progress further with more businesses reopening their doors in September after the summer break.

With the likelihood of hybrid and flexible working pretty much confirmed as part of our working lives moving forward, it's increasingly important for landlords and employers alike to consider the factors that employees place the highest importance on when it comes to the office,and how these may have changed as a result of working from home during the pandemic.

Our latest Office FiT survey analysed responses from over 100,000 owner and occupier clients and office workers across the UK and EMEA and found these to be the top 10 important factors for office employees:

Personal safety


Low levels of background/unwanted noise


Neutral smell/lack of odour


Building security


Openable windows


Ability to recycle


Workplace experience


Personalised workspace that only I use


Car parking


Public transport connections


(Percentage assigning a 4 or 5 score out of five)

Personal safety featured at the top of the high priority lists regardless of gender, age or seniority of the respondents. Given the pandemic environment we have all been living in for the last 18 months, this may not come as a surprise, but it's the first time we have included this question and how companies respond to it through building management is important. This could be in terms of how much safety consideration can be built in by the owner/developer and what this means for the design of buildings in the future.

The significance placed on low noise levels or background/unwanted noise has grown considerately since our 2020 survey and now stands in second place at 74 per cent. For some this will have been based on the experience of the partial return to work and for others, distractions at home.

It's also important to note that, for the majority employees, they would have had control over the first eight factors when they were working from home. Elements such as smells, building security, openable windows, workplace experience and the ability to recycle are things that we are generally able to regulate in our own home and therefore may want to transfer when we return to the office.

Looking at the factors ranked outside of the top 10 and towards the lower end of the list for importance, there are arguably some surprises. Bike storage only scores 26 per cent and access to showers/changing facilities at 28 per cent. This could be due to the fact that, over time, these amenities have become expected as standard in the office and therefore registered as less important than indicated in previous surveys.

While this ranking is likely to change over time, it will be valuable for landlords and employees to recognise what is important to staff in the workplace and make simple steps to adapt spaces where possible in order to ensure the transition from home to the office is a smooth one.

Further information

Contact Steven Lang

Office FiT: Adapt, Evolve, Improve