A survey released by international real estate advisor Savills and the British Council for Offices (BCO) has revealed that Cambridgeshire workers place greater priority on their office having a strong internet connection than their equivalents across the rest of the UK.
The report, What Workers Want, highlights that having good quality wireless access is the second most important factor for workers across Cambridgeshire, coming second only to length of commute, with 81% of respondents ranking this as ‘very important’ or important’. This compares to 74% of office workers nationwide.
As ongoing debates regarding the city’s problematic infrastructure continue, it is no surprise that workers care about the length of their commute. Despite this, there appears to be less concern about the creation of good public transport connections with just over half of Cambridgeshire workers citing this as important, compared to 71% across the UK.
As a direct result of these issues, Cambridge has one of the highest percentages of cycle-commutes in the country, therefore it makes sense that 34% of the city’s workers rank bicycle storage as important, the second highest ranking in the UK after Bristol. Although it did not make the top ten list of factors most important to Cambridgeshire, it still surpassed the wider UK ranking of 27%.
Click here to see the top 10 factors most important to Cambridgeshire office workers.
The What Workers Want poll of 1,132 office workers across the UK looks to investigate the factors that are important to employees in the workplace and how much they believe that their current environment satisfies those requirements. There seems to be a significant mismatch between what Cambridgeshire office workers deem important, when compared to current levels of satisfaction. Upon closer inspection of these facts it is possible to identify the size of the ‘frustration factor’ and in turn identify what organisations need to address in order to attract and retain staff.
Click here to see the top 10 factors Cambridgeshire office workers are most dissatisfied with.
Steve Lang, director of research at Savills, comments: “Length of commute is a common concern across the whole of the UK, but it is interesting to see that access to good quality wireless is more important in Cambridgeshire than anywhere else in the UK. The city itself has one of the highest volume of knowledge intensive firms in the country, so quiet space and a strong internet connection are going to play a large role in the day to day running of these businesses.
“Furthermore, this could also be attributed to changes in the workplace, with open plan layouts and a culture of hot-desking adding to employees frustration. Essentially, if organisations fail to get office design and infrastructure right, they can risk a decline in overall productivity.”
William Clarke, associate director of business space at Savills Cambridge, adds: “With a vast number of Cambridgeshire’s occupiers specialising in technology and R&D, good quality wireless is an essential. A lot of these business rely on an environment that encourages ideas and collaboration and it is interesting to see that in some cases this still remains unsatisfied. Workers are a fundamental of any company and this research is a fantastic tool to help guide requirements going forward.”
Danny Parmar, British Council for Offices East Anglia committee chair, says: “ When it comes to staff satisfaction and retention, employees are now looking far beyond salary and how many days holiday they have. A new, more digitally engaged workforce has resulted in a shift of needs. As this research has shown, facilities such as good wi-fi and a quiet working environment are key to keeping staff happy.”