To kick 2018 off right, we surveyed hundreds of people who want to love where they work on the features they want in their office in 2018.
We asked employers and employees alike. Responses varied from the humble to the adventurous and the humorous. Some just wanted a comfy chair (fair enough), whilst others were more interested in getting DJs in their reception. Well…if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Every piece of feedback offered a fascinating insight into what this coming year has to bring. So, here we are: a peek into the future of office space in 2018.
1. Which business facilities are most important to you?
First up, the basics! We wanted to know which general facilities our respondents believe to be indispensable in an office.
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Our survey gave a choice of 15 (fairly) fundamental facilities, and respondents were asked to select the five that were most important to them. All options received votes, but there were two stand-alone frontrunners.
- The need for meeting rooms just came in first place, with a huge 83.7% classifying them as an indispensable element of an office.
- Narrowly missing the top spot (by just one vote), superfast WiFi came second – but the slim margin shows the importance of a speedy connection for all types of business in 2018.
- Breakout space came out as the third most popular option, with respondents keen to escape the confines of their desks in order to collaborate and brainstorm elsewhere.
- The potential for a flexible schedule also proved to be essential to those surveyed, with 43% keen for 24-hour access – thus confirming that the generic concept of a 9-5 job is a thing of the past.
- Finally, the fifth most popular option was furniture: showing that many businesses would rather avoid the hassle of furnishing their space themselves.
2. Which additional facilities would you most like to have?
Next, we gave a list of slightly more innovative facilities that you may find in an office (all of which can be found through our search page filter). The results to this question were more evenly spread—but a pattern certainly emerged.
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A largely food-dominated top five showed how much what people eat and drink at work matters.
- Top of the list was the need for a kitchen in the office, chosen by almost two-thirds of respondents—suggesting that Pret is not quite yet the all-powerful provider of lunchtime nourishment.
- In second place was a desire for hot beverages…so there’s no sign that caffeine culture will be slowing down in 2018.
- Following that, an honourable 55.8% of those questioned were eager for an onsite gym – supporting the idea that a healthy body = a healthy mind.
- This was further corroborated by the fourth most popular response: fruit and snacks (though admittedly we can’t tell whether it was the fruit or the snacks that were more appealing).
- Finally, aware that a certain lifestyle makes Jack a dull boy, a wholesome 37.2% of respondents were interested in getting free beer and wine at work. We don’t blame them.
3. What would you like to see in your office in the future?
Next, we asked how our respondents would design their office if they were given free reign to do so.
- Onsite gyms and swimming pools were very popular features, showing a will to defy the notorious sedentary lifestyle of an office job.
- This was also reinforced by the desire for standing desks, an increasingly popular phenomenon that allows the user to alter the height of their desk as they wish—and one that we enjoy at Hubble.
- Layouts allowing for privacy seemed common amongst answers too, with respondents eager for private meeting rooms and individual desk pods.
- Others called for more ‘extracurricular’ business activities, such as special events and content-rich speakers.
- Certain responses signalled a desire for the office to be an extension of the home, with respondents wanting nap rooms, overnight pods, showers and even a dry cleaning service at their disposal.
These facilities are far from unreasonable, with many offices offering such services already.
- Design-buffs were eager for wall murals and ‘funky layouts’, whilst animal-lovers longed for cats and puppies to roam around the office.
- Food and drink was once again a recurring theme. Some were keen for a fully-stocked fridge with ‘interesting’ foods, others wanted popcorn machines, whilst several requests for ‘Fika’ showed the growing influence of a Scandinavian lifestyle.
- The most imaginative amongst those who answered our survey really thought outside the box: wishing for everything from massage chairs and a waterbed area to climbing walls and arcade rooms.
One individual was particularly keen for a hologram of their boss, to avoid any real human contact with them… but perhaps that’s a different issue altogether.
4. Have you ever heard of a feature in another office that you were jealous of?
Word on the street is that some offices are already way ahead of the game, offering highly innovative facilities. Here were some particular favourites:
- Surprise, surprise: free alcohol was popular, with many lusting after prosecco on tap and cocktail cabinets.
- Active offices sporting climbing frames and treadmill desks.
- Offices displaying art and dishing out free massages onsite were also a hit, as were workplaces with roof terraces.
One respondent also mentioned an office with a DJ in reception…
5. Sum up your ideal office in a few words.
Finally, we wanted to hear a quick summary of how our respondents would describe their perfect office – and they really went to town, showing a great deal of creativity and variety. Nonetheless, there were certainly a number of similarities amongst the words they chose.
As can be seen above, a huge proportion of responses specified light and creativity as overarching priorities, with other common descriptors including ‘friendly’, ‘fun’, and ‘open’. In fact, a number of people stated that they’d like their office to be a ‘home away from home’.
A lot can happen in a short space of time when it comes to work space. In just a few years, technological and economic factors have transformed the office as we know it—with traditional, long-term leases becoming less of a ‘given’, and more flexible options growing increasingly popular in major cities around the world.
This rapid growth is just as pertinent in London. Since 2012, the take-up of flexible office space in the UK capital has rocketed, with data showing that in the first half of 2017 it constituted an astonishing 15% of the market. As such, at Hubble we have huge expectations for the year ahead, with the numbers indicating that this trend is far from slowing down.
And as the inflexibility of leases continues to be challenged, so does the banality of what can be found within the spaces. Long gone are the days where a desk, chair and PC sufficed; business-owners are now aware that innovative workplaces (think: Google, Facebook, YouTube) can increase productivity, foster creativity and are, quite frankly, far more fun to work in.
Is there anything that you’ve been lusting after? If so, we want to hear from you! Tweet us @Hubble and have your say.