A Report published earlier this month by the British Council for Offices (BCO) and Savills reveals that location strongly influences staff decisions when choosing a new job. The report highlights that Generation Y (18-34 year olds) in particular rated location as a bigger influencer (73%) on employment decisions than older respondents (64%). The poll of 1,168 office workers across the UK, carried out by YouGov, investigated the impact that office moves and refurbishment have on staff.

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive at the British Council for Offices, said:

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that the needs of office workers, after years of uniformity, are ever more diverse. The advent of new technology and more innovative approaches to workplace design along with the growing age range of office workers are likely to accelerate this trend.

“The report emphasises that staff retention, productivity and happiness can all be bolstered by being in-tune with modern workplace issues, which is something all occupiers should be aware of.”

Surprisingly, older workers rated access to Wi-Fi more than younger workers. Nearly half (45%) of over 55-year-olds rated it as very important in their ideal workplace compared to just 36% of 18-24 year-olds. This may in part be due to the increasing adoption of iPads by corporates, particularly for those in senior management positions.

The Report indicated further trends and differences between staff of different ages:

• 72% of Creative & Media companies favoured a ‘design led’ approach compared to 56% of those companies from traditional industries.

• Given the standard image of a Tech Company it was somewhat surprising that only 51% of technology/telecommunication companies that responded favoured a less traditional office design.

• For 18-24 year olds, the preference was clearly for a design led office space with 43% favouring a bespoke fit out as opposed to the 28% of workers who preferred a standard, corporate led design.

Regardless of how your office looks, feels or is laid out the most important factors for staff and managers alike, concern productivity and staff morale. Despite all the changes in working practices and hours, the top three features of an ideal Office Space for staff remain traditionally conventional – with comfort, temperature and lighting ranked as the most important for staff.

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