In a new study of 14,000+ participants over three years, international office suppliers Viking has found that shorter working weeks, protected lunch breaks, and working from home are among the leading motivators in the modern workplace.
Of the participants surveyed across the study, 51% said they would happily work longer hours over four days, in return for a three-day weekend; and 60% of workers said that they would like to spend some portion of their contracted hours working remotely.
Two-thirds of employees surveyed also said that they regularly work through their lunch break – citing “too much work” as the main reason – and 64% want these breaks protected, preferring to spend a full hour doing more relaxing activities such as reading, socialising, exercising, or simply eating away from their desk.
Good health and wellbeing in the workplace also came out as a leading motivator, as 8 in 10 employees surveyed expressed concerns over the long-term effects on their health from sitting at a computer screen all day.
The key takeaways for employers looking to engage their workforce:
- The shape of the workplace is changing, so change with it. If your business is able to accommodate more flexible working hours, remote working or even shorter working weeks – then the impact on motivation could be invaluable.
- Protect your employees’ work-life balance and consider breakout areas for lunch which allows for socialising, exercise, or just some alone time.
- Provide alternative options to chairs (such as stability balls) or fixed desks (such as standing desks) which will give employees the freedom to move as needed throughout the day.
- Consider overtime, stress levels and the mental health culture within your workplace; and provide training, support and guidance where needed.
For a full breakdown of the survey’s findings, click here.