Will next-level Nordic intentions turn to action in the workplace?

Large firms in four Scandinavian countries announced plans to remodel their workplaces in 2023, according to a survey by facilities company Coor. Will they now make good on those promises?

As companies settle back after the new year and stare down the barrel of 2023, how far will they go in adapting their workplace to the new world of work?

According to a report by Swedish facility management firm Coor, which last year surveyed 557 decision-makers and 811 employees at large organisations across Scandinavia, two out of three companies announced plans to make changes to their workplace in 2023.

The survey, entitled Join the Workplace Revolution, also found that employees expected changes to be made in the office. More than a third said that they were likely or very likely to look for a new job if no changes were made. This trend was clearest amongst younger employees based in big cities.

So, will these intentions be turned into actions this year? And how far will companies go to transform their workplace design and culture?

Settling into the new

According to AnnaCarin Grandin, CEO and President of Coor, ‘All the indicators point to 2022 being a year of transition, while 2023 is likely to be when we settle into the new normal. But the journey has only just begun.’

For Georg Linden, Innovation Manager at Coor, the biggest changes that we will start to see will be in service provision and in addressing staff retention: ‘In the past, employers competed with each other. Now companies are also competing with the home as a workplace. I believe that in future, the experience of spending time in the office will be most important for attracting top talent.’

The ergonomic workplace with adjustable desks and chairs, and computer screens set at the right angle is no longer good enough, believes Linden. As employees demands evolve, companies need to start thinking more innovatively to meet the needs of their staff.

A total experience

‘Companies now need to create a total experience that inspires people, makes their everyday lives easier and ensures their wellbeing,’ explains Linden. This experience might include dry cleaning services, providing ready-packed grocery bags, or arranging mindfulness or exercise classes in the office, something that Linden believes we will see more of in future. A Coor video gives an impression for how this experience-led office might look.

‘For people who “save” two hours by avoiding the commute, it is obviously tempting to stay at home. This means that employers need to rise to the challenge by offering services that make everyday life easier so that those hours can be saved elsewhere,’ Linden continues.  He envisages the workplace as more of a community, where the employer’s task is to create an environment where people feel welcome, engaged and have a strong positive feeling about spending time there.

‘Services that make everyday life easier will enable commuting hours to be saved elsewhere…’

Change management will be central to how a new workplace culture can be created, according to Coor’s expert Carina Hornfeldt-Bylund. See video here.

Coor plans to repeat its workplace survey of companies and employers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in early 2023, asking new questions about their plans and desires. It will new interesting to see whether great expectations on transforming the workplace translate into action.

Coor is a Corporate Member of WORKTECH Academy.
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