Real estate can enable business transformation, research shows

employee happiness

A new global report series looked at how workplace experience can help businesses thrive in the new world of work.

Findings of the report are based on consultations with decision makers at 40 corporations around the world and the results of a separate, anonymous survey of more than 7,300 employees working for companies with more than 100 members of staff. The survey covered 12 countries and the respondents were aged between 18 and 65 years. Countries where employees were surveyed: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

The study revealed that helping people to feel good at work is more than a ‘box-ticking’ exercise in trying to achieve work-life balance. It goes far beyond this. Companies stand to benefit in measureable ways once they realise that the experience they create for their people in the workplace goes to the heart of those employees’ levels of engagement, sense of empowerment and feelings of fulfilment at work.

Nearly 70 per cent of participants agreed that happiness at work is the best ingredient to guarantee a unique work experience. What’s more, almost 90 per cent of all respondents support the idea of having a Chief Happiness Officer at work, dedicated to employee wellbeing.

Whilst large corporations continue to attract more talent than the smallest ones, almost half of respondents said they aspire to work in a start-up environment and that they crave an entrepreneurial culture.

Only 40 per cent of respondents revealed feeling very engaged at work on average, and consider ‘trust’ and ‘kindness’ – which can be fostered through agile workspaces – the biggest positive impact on their engagement at work.

Only 52 per cent of employees admitted being entirely satisfied with their current work environment. In addition, 42 per cent revealed feeling completely ready to move from their personal desk to open-plan offices or unallocated seats, in order to access new innovative workspaces.

Almost half of respondents think that being able to concentrate in the workplace is a top priority, calling for a stronger focus from companies on giving employees a choice about how, when and where they work.

Neil Murray, EMEA CEO of Corporate Solutions at JLL, said: “In a world increasingly driven by data and digital innovation, the future of work is actually more about people than you might think. Organisations can no longer only focus on providing space to work, they need to create places that enable people to achieve their ambitions. Appealing to what people want can have transformational benefits to businesses.”

Marie Puybaraud, Global Head of Corporate Research at JLL, added: “Human Experience is about how the work environment ultimately impacts company performance, not just its culture. Our study shows that work places and work spaces have a key role to play, both strategically and operationally, in fostering engagement, empowerment and fulfilment at work.”