Flexible workers need space and storage to call their own to perform well

Flexible workers need space and storage to call their own to perform well

With 4.2 million workers in the UK working remotely, and a third of those straddling home and the office in a flexi-arrangement, companies need to rethink how they look after their nomadic staff to maintain a sense of belonging amongst employees.

Recent workplace wellbeing research commissioned by Bisley in the 2017 Wellness Together report echoed findings from the previous ‘Belong at Work’ study, which identified a pressing need to look after the needs of workers in agile workplaces by offering a sense of physical permanence in the part-time office.

Secure and personal storage continues to top requests

Storage continues to be a frequent request, and solution, for employees who may not have a permanent desk in today’s flexible workplace. The study revealed that three of the five top changes employees would make to their workspace included personal stowage of some kind. It shows that employees need their own space to keep their belongings, even if they don’t have a permanent workstation, to achieve a sense of belonging.

This revelation isn’t anything new. A feeling of personal space is deeply rooted in a person’s sense of control and wellbeing in all environments. Maslow’s well-known Hierarchy of Needs ranks ‘belongingness’ as a major psychological need for all humans. Feeling affiliated and being part of a group, such as that of an organisation, workplace or team, is a significant contributor to motivation and wellbeing.

Office storage for improved focus and performance

In a communal, modern or flexible workspace where desks are often shared, an employee can enjoy a more secure feeling of inclusion simply by having a dedicated place to store their coat, bag, lunch or work. Without that, workers can feel untethered and unconnected from the team, and consequently distracted from the job.

From a hook and charge point to a locker or storage unit, companies can easily create personal spaces with flexible office furniture for each nomadic employee without sacrificing precious floor space.

Flexible working with a sense of control

Customisation of personal space can create a real ‘sense of home’ by allowing staff to personalise their locker or unit with fittings, colours and internal accessories that can be used for easy identification but also to give employees a sense of control over their space.

It’s not easy to please everyone in an office environment, of course, but with nearly half of staff reporting that workspace design impacts on their decision to stay with an employer, it pays to look at the smaller details like storage as they have the potential to improve overall wellbeing and employee retention.