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Private bubbles and sofas to take advantage of the return to the office

Comfortable and versatile workspaces increase productivity by 9%.

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Private bubbles and sofas to take advantage of the return to the office

Comfortable and versatile workspaces increase productivity by 9%.

Every eight minutes, a manager has to stop his task to fix his attention on another matter, urgent or not, important or not. Also according to David Rock, PhD in Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University in London and director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, employees spend an average of 28% of their day distracted by unnecessary interruptions and trying to pick up the pace. Notice of a new email that appears in the middle of the computer screen, a call, the mobile that vibrates due to a WhatsApp notification -from the group of colleagues or friends-, a colleague who comments on a report (or a plan for his or her of week)... Even taking into account that it is impossible for anyone to maintain their full attention for eight hours or carry out an activity of constant quality, for a better use of time, you must have an adequate work space. The fewer temptations, the better, but rest is essential.

Today, many staff consider that distractions are more frequent and uncontrollable in the office than at home; that offer less intimacy and tranquility when it comes to concentrating compared to the silence and comfort of teleworking. If almost half (45%) prefer to continue operating from home compared to 21% who choose to do it from the office according to the research What do workers want. Global report in the new era of hybrid work of the strategic consultancy for workspaces Steelcase, "the employee has to feel that it is worth physically moving to the company, that it has its own private area, that they feel it as their own and the can customize, from where you can concentrate and feel comfortable", says Alejandro Pociña, president of Steelcase Iberia.

With data from this quantitative study conducted in 11 countries with 4,986 participants, when people like to come to the office they are more engaged and connected to the culture of the organization and are more productive and likely to stay. "An appropriate space increases the performance of the team by 9%, 35% of the workforce generates a more powerful connection with the organization and reduces the risk of abandonment by 20%, today a critical point for many companies", Pociña details. , who adds that the design of the office "is a very powerful tool in the hands of management to generate more business benefits".

To promote this efficiency, work spaces "must adapt to the cycles of the brain; it is impossible for him to perform 100% all day. Compare a lumberjack who tries to cut down trees non-stop for eight hours with another who periodically stops to sharpen the saw and recharge your batteries. Which of the two will do it better? Office workers also need to rest, change tasks and places from time to time," argues Pociña, who reveals that his business has increased projects by 35% compared to 2021: "Before they asked us to optimize square meters and now create experiences for employees, add value to rooms."

The ideal office would have four well-differentiated areas, "adapted to different times." One dedicated to individual tasks, a second "to rest, change posture, with sofas to recharge batteries"; another to interact with colleagues, "an acoustically isolated room so as not to disturb the rest, that encourages creativity, with all the necessary technology, also with sofas to be as comfortable as at home, with plants and lighting that adapts to the circadian rhythms, in which you feel comfortable and you don't know why", explains Pociña. The last, and equally necessary, would be an area to socialize among colleagues: "To talk about professional or personal issues, to get to know each other, to create company culture. And I am not referring to the coffee machine, but to an informal, pleasant place, comfortable...", points out the president for Iberia of this consultancy.

If bosses want teams to return to the office - despite the fact that for 65% the flexibility of being able to operate remotely is the second most valued conditioning factor, only behind salary according to the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2022 Report - they will have to make it worth the visit, also for the business itself. With the right spaces, Steelcase's global research finds, people are willing to trade remote work days for their own office space. Without giving up the autonomy and flexibility of the hybrid model, they also want to have options, control and a sense of belonging in the company itself.

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