This is most important for office workers in Norway

A new survey maps out Norwegians' office preferences, revealing that 1 in 10 are dissatisfied with their office building.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for Technopolis, provides insight into the office habits of Norwegians – from their pet peeves to their preferences. Well over half of the respondents are satisfied with the office building they work in (57%). However, this also means that 1 in 10 are not satisfied.

"While it's nice to know that so many are satisfied with their office building, there are also many who are dissatisfied," says Alf Astrup, Business Unit Director for Technopolis Fornebu in Oslo and Technopolis Kista in Stockholm.

When asked about the most important aspect of the office, almost half (47%) answered that the ability to work undisturbed is most important. Additionally, 28% of respondents pointed to the proximity of the office to their home as the most important factor. This is followed by good air quality (27%), comfortable temperature (20%), comfortable office furniture (19%), and good lunch options (9%).

"The survey gives us an indication of what office workers care about. It provides useful insight for those of us who work with office space and office rental, and the numbers underline the need to adapt the office to the different needs of the companies," says Astrup.

Important to consider all age groups

The survey shows that well over half of the respondents in the age group 55+ want an office with a door that can be closed (60%). This is in stark contrast to the age group 18-34, where only 35% have the same preference. It is no surprise that 28% of the youngest group prefer an open office landscape, compared to 25% in the age group 35-54 and 10% in the age group 55+.

"Open office landscapes are probably the most common office design in Norway, and this shows that it is important to supplement them with quiet rooms and phone booths to create a good balance for employees. As the provider of office spaces, we must find solutions that are best suited for all our different customers and their employees, regardless of age," says Astrup.

26% of respondents prefer working from home if they could choose freely. However, although working from home is popular, 37% think it is very important that colleagues are physically present in the office.

"The working-from-home debate is still very relevant, even several years after the pandemic. As landlords, we must make the office an appealing place to be in comparison to the home office and create a space where a fruitful and social work environment can flourish. A good work environment is not created over Teams,” says Astrup.

Welcoming breaks

Despite the respondents expressing a need to work undisturbed, the survey shows that office workers also want an office space that facilitates breaks.

For example, 38% say they would like a massage chair in the office. Other popular facilities on the wish list include a personal barista (20%), a game room with ping pong, foosball, and billiards (17%), an ice cream machine (13%), and a beer tap (13%).

Astrup believes the numbers are a reminder that employees also need breaks in their workday – and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for what these breaks can consist of.

"A massage chair or a game room may not be suitable for everyone, but this indicates that the office should also be adapted for good breaks. It can contribute positively to the work environment, which is one of the most important things for Norwegians. It is up to each company to figure out what works best for them," says Astrup.

About the survey:

• The survey was conducted by YouGov for Technopolis.
• 1000 employed people who work entirely or partially in an office outside the home have responded to a questionnaire.
• The survey was conducted in weeks 35-39 in 2023.

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