Current Office Layout

Many Singapore Staff Unhappy With Current Office Layout, Faculties

SINGAPORE – A recent research by global office design firm Unispace found out that most local employers don’t understand the primary reason why their employees are still hesitant to return to the office, reported The Edge on Thursday noon (15 June, SGT).

“Singaporean workers remain reluctant to return to the office, with many unhappy with the facilities their employers provide which do not enable them to carry out their duties as best they can,” said Sean Moran, Senior Principal for client solutions in Asia at Unispace.

He noted that there’s a disparity between what employers and their employees think about what a contemporary workspace should look like and provide.

In its latest survey, Unispace claimed that polled business executives in Singapore appear to misunderstand what is preventing a more extensive return to the office, thinking that their staff’s reluctance is due to lengthy daily commute and “the ability to eat more healthily at home”.

On the other hand, around 68 percent of the surveyed local workers shared that they struggle to perform their core duties within their current office environment due to distractions. They cite a lack of privacy in their workspace versus their home offices and a belief that they are more productive at home, particularly in a quiet remote work environment.

“While employers believe that workers’ reluctance to return to the office is based on convenience, employees are more concerned with working in spaces that are free of distractions and allow them to work more effectively,” explained Moran.

He added that while 56 percent of the polled Singapore staff are hot-desking in the office, 94 percent of this group revealed that they would be happier to go to their office more frequently if they’re provided with an assigned space. Moreover, 61 percent disclosed that they would be willing to have their pay reduced to be able to work from home (WFH).

Meanwhile, 76 percent of the surveyed local business executives revealed that they have expanded their office footprint in the past two years, while others intend to reconfigure their existing workspaces.

“We have been seeing more companies invest in building and/or reconstructing their workplace post-COVID to encourage their employees to return to the office,” noted Moran.

“More companies are building larger, shared spaces with leisure elements like gaming areas, fitness facilities, and pantries with free beers; even the banking and legal industries — which are perceived as traditional and conservative — are open to hot-desking and meeting rooms with creative elements to increase employee engagement,” added Joanne Morris, Head of design and delivery for Asia at Unispace.

The research involved 500 employees and 250 senior executives who work in Singapore companies with more than 50 staff.

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