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Hybrid Workers have voted. The workplace results are in.

Leesman, the oracle for workplace practitioners revealed their latest masterpiece The Power of Place to the European Smart Work Network in our London March 21 seminar. With well over 1.3 million office users and half a million home workers volunteering their satisfaction globally, the desired way of working is crystal clear.

The winners are the Home Work Studios

With 86% of workers working in more than one location, your domestic setting is now the default workplace. Leading satisfaction with 10 points over employer workspaces, homes are the new benchmark. Surprised? You shouldn’t! Your thinking brain loves to work there. For many it’s an acoustic temple, a calming and inspiring place where you don’t have to fight for a window with a view on some green and blue. Nearly 3 out of 5 now have a dedicated closed work studio in or outside their home dwelling, up from 2 out of 5 in 2020.

No wonder the satisfaction with working from home has increased since the pandemic. Smart home workers are so proud about their work setting that they started inviting colleagues and customers for sparring sessions. They don’t hide their authentic self in remote work sessions any longer and will not be caught using artificial backgrounds.

The challengers are “Catalyst Offices”

Leesman found that those outstanding offices know very well what their employees expect. Offices so well-crafted that associates are proud to show them to new talent, customers plus family and friends. These memorable places exude culture and brand, boosting the organisation’s image.

Such offices are not purely created as epicenters for collaboration. They provide closed work studios for one or two, aiming to match or exceed the better workhomes. These sanctuaries for concentrated thinking and creative work guarantee acoustic and visual privacy for confidential discussions in person or virtual. 

At last, some of these exceptional offices are starting to get it right in terms of noise control. Natural light is no longer at the end of the tunnel, but nearby. And air quality is shooting up too. Magnetic workplaces they are called. Where hospitality is palpable, design and ample space are the norm and plants/greenery abundant.

So what about Coworking places?

These are not covered in Power of Place. Sadly, my recent experiences in coworking places proved disappointing. I had hoped they had gotten better after my Why Coworking places don’t work? workshop at SXSW2018 in Austin, Texas. 

At a recent workplace best practice event in London participants were ushered to an underground meeting place where natural light was missing in action. The ceiling of the room was too low for the projection screen to be visible to all. And the air conditioning so loud that genuine interaction suffered. When I enquired about the possibility to work for a couple of hours in a closed/private work studio, we were told such was not offered.

Who can work productively in such shared workplaces? Surely, they are not worth a horrendous tube journey where noise abatement is missing. Smart workers are no longer fooled by cool lounges, pretty décor, and overemphasis on play. Time to start scoring flex workspaces for their catalyst capabilities.

In summary

Reasonable expectations on corporate workplaces can no longer be ignored. Every day in the office should be worth its while. What makes an outstanding workplace (in the office, home or coworking) has never been better articulated.

Want to hear the full Power of Place story? Join the Leesman Global Webinar on April 17

Savanna offers modular Studios for work, play, and living.

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