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Office Design: New Work, Same Office

UK businesses are failing to invest in new, collaborative technologies that could entice staff back into the office, claims Microsoft in a new report.

Most UK workers surveyed by YouGov for the Microsoft Surface report The re-imagined office: not a re-design but a re-define believe that an office is better than remote work for socialising (57%) and strengthening relationships with colleagues (65%).

However, 36% feel they achieve less there than when working remotely and 32% worry about time and money spent commuting. Half (50%) say they only go into the office if they’re told they have to.

This is a worry as 80% of UK business leaders surveyed for Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index report cite getting employees back into the office as a concern.

One reason might be that although the world of work has changed, 83% of office workers have the same office environment as before the pandemic and remain stuck in un-collaborative work patterns, with 71% spending time ‘doing emails’ every time they go in.

Microsoft suggests lack of investment might be to blame. Only 35% of IT decision makers (ITDMs) say they have been asked to consider whether the IT in their office is fit for their workforce and just 6% cite meeting room technology as a priority investment.

Less than one third (31%) of office workers say that their organisation has invested in technology to improve collaboration over the past year.

Alan Slothower, Surface Business Group Lead at Microsoft UK, said: “Too many UK workers are stuck in the same office spaces as before the pandemic…Our research points to a clear need for businesses to not just re-design their offices, but truly reimagine them for a hybrid future.”

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