Companies should prioritize the work environment on their agenda

It is widely known that the working life is undergoing significant changes. However, many companies are still stuck in old office solutions. Alf Astrup, Business Unit Director at the real estate company Technopolis, believes that the work environment must become a priority issue in the management teams of companies.

This opinion piece was originally published in Fastighetstidningen on October 26, 2023.

The world is in a time of significant changes in several different areas. This rapid, and in some cases unforeseen, development makes it challenging for businesses to have a clear vision of the future. Uncertainty complicates the process of making long-term commitments and setting priorities. The workplace and the work environment are examples of areas that are easily deprioritized, but, if handled correctly, they can enhance a company's ability to navigate and prepare for a more complex and challenging world. A CEO and a management team that has the ability to understand even the significance of the workplace during tougher times are likely to emerge stronger when the storm hits.

According to a Gallup survey in the State of The Global Workspace Report 2022, employees today are more anxious than ever. In fact, several studies reveal that employees still experience anxiety and a lack of engagement. According to the report, 60 percent experienced daily work-related stress in 2022, surpassing the record level reached during the pandemic year of 2020. Another Deloitte survey simultaneously shows that a staggering 87 percent of business leaders understand the need to introduce new principles into today's work environment. This demonstrates a broad awareness of the changing demands and challenges companies face in today's evolving work environment. They understand that traditional methods and strategies are not always sufficient to respond to the rapid market changes and that adaptation is necessary.

Despite this awareness, the same survey indicates that only 24 percent of business leaders are actually ready to implement the necessary changes. This suggests a significant gap between understanding and preparedness to address changes.

As changes in the work environment impose new demands on CEOs and management teams, prioritizing the work environment and how it is designed becomes an essential part of the work culture, which in turn affects long-term results. However, it is important to remember that every company and employee has different needs that can be met by creating individually tailored office solutions. The workplace is more than just physical square footage, and it is ultimately the responsibility of the management team to make decisions about the company's work environment. The threshold does not need to be high; the awareness already exists, it just needs to be implemented. And the very first step is to elevate the work environment’s importance on the agenda. By adapting the workplace to dynamic needs, a company's success in today's challenging world is ensured.

Alf Astrup

Business Unit Director, Technopolis Fornebu and Technopolis Kista

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