Why the office should be everywhere, whether your boss likes it or not

The Australian business landscape has had a bumpy ride over the past 24 months.

From talent shortages to mass layoffs and layoffs, it hasn’t been easy for employees or organizations to plan with certainty how they work, especially when the macroeconomic outlook is anything but certain.

Senior management, IT teams, HR departments have all played their part in fostering corporate culture and supporting agility, with varying degrees of success.

Today, most companies are in what appears to be a constant calibration of balancing workplace policies, corporate brand, and corporate performance. But where are employee opinions on workplace policies? And do these policies enable employees to be more effective in their work?

Flexible working, remote working, hybrid working, working from home, working anywhere, office work – it can all mean different things to different people.

Many companies have tried to become leaders in providing the best working arrangements. Their success rests on a range of factors that are often overlooked or overlooked; team confidence, company culture, management style, industry trends and the right technical tools to get the job done.

It’s a minefield to weigh and a tough place for companies to compete in, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

Do ‘good’ work

What will ‘good’ work from anywhere look like in 2023 from an employee’s perspective?

With so many work policies being revised, scaled back or rewritten – especially in recent months – there are mixed feelings among employees. So it’s more important than ever for employers to make sure they have policies in place that match the expectations of the talent they’re trying to attract and invest in.

To get straight to the point, balancing employee freedom, flexibility, productivity and performance will never be perfect, but with a few key insights gained from listening to what people want, companies can get pretty close. come.

Stays from wherever

‘Working everywhere’ can no longer be ignored. Employers have to get used to that.

As a local company developing technology to empower people wherever they work, we wanted to know more, so we went straight to the source. We spoke to more than 1,000 employees from across the business community and asked their thoughts on working anywhere and what that means in 2023.

Working with Aussie Corporate, one of Australia’s top online employee communities, we’ve opened up a relatively candid series of questions to gain insight into employee sentiment.

Here’s a breakdown that reveals some truths employers should be ready for.

  • It’s important to have a policy that is clear and based on your target talent market.
  • About 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the work-anywhere policy is important when choosing their next job.

So? That is a huge number that cannot be ignored. People want a sense of freedom and control and can only achieve that by feeling that they have choice and flexibility. People tell us they want to be trusted and refuse workplaces that don’t offer that. If employees are able to work from different locations, be productive and drive performance, while preserving the corporate culture, there is little point in keeping people at a desk full time.

  • The home of office space is only part of the story:
  • More than 60% of Australian corporates ‘often’ or ‘occasionally’ work from a third location. When we’re not working in the office or at home, we’re probably in cafes, at home with friends and family, or on the couch.
  • Only 13% say they never work anywhere other than at a desk at home or in the office.
  • 40% of respondents felt their employer was not arming them with the best tools to get things done while working from anywhere.

So? Whether it’s hiring digital nomads on a contract basis, employees preparing for a presentation at a local café, or someone caring for an unwell child while working from their living room, our ability to work in a variety of locations is an asset. defining power of this generation’s working style.

Policies aside, pretty much everyone works between their own home or office workspace. So, without the right setup, there is a huge risk of productivity shortfalls due to people not getting the right equipment to get the job done right.

  • If people could choose, would they work from your office? Probably not every day, but that shouldn’t deter employers.

So? Of course, the best work from any location or destination Australians would choose ranges from Bali, Italy, Japan and regional Australia to mountain huts and beach houses. But behind the dream locations is a strong sense of ‘home is home’ and apart from a few weeks off during the year, most people would actually like to return after a period of work.

Working anywhere doesn’t just mean escaping to Bali. It can be at home from the living room, on a short working holiday or while staying abroad with family. In addition, with so many international workers in Australia, there was a strong sense of policy that could help people reconnect with families abroad at certain times during the year.

  • Productivity is something that employers can enable with the right tools and by giving employees choice.

So? Technology is at the heart of productivity. More screen space with an additional monitor, a better PC or Mac, or faster Internet connectivity were all ranked as the top three technical upgrades that could provide a productivity boost.

Scott McKeon, Espresso

Scott McKeon with an espresso display

Productivity is also one of the most difficult aspects of a business to measure. Whether it’s a KPI achieved, self-ranked by employees, or observations by a manager, it’s probably safest to say that when people feel productive, they probably will be.

There’s also been an explosion of productivity apps, research, insights, and knowledge sharing. Our experience shows that technology is an important factor for productivity and for success, but we should not forget the basics of proper ergonomics, clearing up the desktop to give people brain space to concentrate. These basic principles remain an important part of why people are more selective about where and how they work. We see the productivity war as a major battleground for workplaces as we look to 2024 and beyond.

Investing for performance

Invest in people and they perform.

From feedback we received in the survey and direct conversations with our own customers at espresso, the overwhelming feeling among company employees is that when companies really invest in their people – with the right policies, tools and support – they will perform.

However, this investment must also be done in conjunction with catering to employees and their lifestyle, as well as a fundamentally healthy workspace.

As the saying goes; “What’s the point of investing in staff if they’re not able to do the work they’re being paid for?”

  • Scott McKeon is co-founder of Espresso Displays