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Offices iQ attended the CoreNet Global Summit in Amsterdam earlier this month. Here’s a recap of some key takeaways from the event.

Employee experience

JLL presented research showing that the way we think about corporate real estate is changing. Where once financial considerations would have topped the list of CRE priorities, employers are now beginning to place more value in employee experience. More than half of the 500 CRE directors spoken to in the process of this research placed employee experience as their number one concern.

Leesman, a workplace experience assessor, has created a list of the factors which have the greatest impact on employee satisfaction. These include offering an appropriate variety of working environments and considerations such as noise levels and general décor and tidiness. Meeting all the needs of an employee, even those like interior décor which reflects company culture, feed back into employee wellbeing.

Higher expectations

In 2016, Millennials became the largest generation in the labour force, and with them they brought changing expectations. A study on the workplace and employers found that the single most important thing to millennials in the workplace is design. It is hardly surprising, then, that employers are turning to experts in office space design and maintenance to ensure that the day-to-day experience attracts and retains employees. However, as CoreNet’s keynote speaker, Dr Fons Trompenaares, noted, the diversity of today’s multigenerational workforce means that demands are equally as diverse and even contradictory.

In their attempts to compete in the war for talent, numerous organisations are turning to flexible and managed spaces. Many of these spaces are designed specifically to appeal to people’s mental wellbeing as well as physical work-based needs. Businesses are taking the opportunity to experiment with the type of workplace in which they’re going to place their workforce without the risk of committing to long leases.

Made to measure

Experimentation may well be utilised more and more as technology creates improved ways for us to quantify experience. The difficulty of measuring wellbeing and stress levels was an issue raised throughout the week. Delft University of Technology presented research on means of measuring stress levels and happiness, and it’s easy to see far more research on this topic in the next few years.

The rate of change in organisations is increasing inexorably and parallel to that is the human need to for physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace. Technology is providing workplace specialists with means of creating spaces which balance these seemingly contradictory needs.

CoreNet’s Summit highlighted multiple factors at play in office design, management and employee experience. One element that stood out was the role that flexible office space has across the board. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the industry as it enters an exciting new chapter.

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