New research from Sodexo reveals UK employees still prefer remote working and are more cost-conscious than ever.

Sodexo’s new Work Experience Tracker research, conducted in collaboration with YouGov, revealed that out of the 3,000 respondents in the UK 1 in 5 were dealing with poor mental and physical health, 20% are quiet quitters and 23% stated they wanted to quit.

These issues are likely to impact business performance and business leaders need to reflect on the causes and take action to improve employee experience. 

A big question for many employers in 2023 still remains ‘how do we bring people back to the office?’ Sodexo’s research reveals the top reasons which would help draw workers back in, with synergy between people, space and sustainability core to building a future-proof workplace, driving business performance and employee experience.  

Two thirds of those surveyed said they were satisfied with their current working pattern. 58% continue to work a hybrid pattern, however 36% stated they would come into the office more to connect with other people.

This is corroborated in the 71% of those questioned stating the greatest satisfaction in their workplace experience was from team spirit and collaboration.  36% said they would like the opportunity to socialise, a similar number (35%) noted that they would like to be offered free or subsidised commuting, and 23% said the same about food. 

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

Interestingly the tracker research shows us that 43% of workers are only somewhat satisfied with their workplace experience.

This is a risk for employers as these workers could move to become quiet quitters, but why is this group being overlooked?

The question we need to ask ourselves is what piece of the puzzle are we missing?

58% of those surveyed are working a hybrid pattern. 20% of respondents appear to be quiet quitters, those who say they will stay in their job and do the bare minimum. Interestingly 43% of quiet quitters work a hybrid pattern and the greatest proportion (38%) are boomers.

With the research revealing differing preferences for quiet spaces or lively, creative and collaborative environments it is essential that business leaders adopt a balanced approach factoring in wellbeing when looking at remote and in-person work and avoid adopting a one-size-fits-all approach when developing their workplace strategies.

The YouGov findings were also validated by Sodexo’s own observations through sensor data at its London head office which shows the consistent motivation for workers going into the office is about seeing their work colleagues.

Julie Ennis, explains:

Before the pandemic, we were already witnessing a shift in the nature of workplaces and the need to be future ready.

To help businesses adapt, we developed Vital Spaces - a strategic approach to transforming workplaces and preparing for changing futures. 

Using Vital Spaces we redefined our London head office during the pandemic.

Early surveys hinted at a new trend for the office to become a social hub, a place for health and wellbeing and a crucible for culture.

Using data sensors from the office we are seeing this trend come to life with people gravitating towards the collaborative areas rather than the traditional workspaces.

The final cornerstone for building a future-proof workplace is sustainability. Sodexo’s Work Experience Tracker examined the drivers around employment choices and found that 78% of those surveyed find sustainability personally important and half of respondents expecting their employer to act responsibly.

Specifically, responsible energy use, waste management and reduction of plastic usages at workplace are the top three expectations from employees.

At a recent summit held by Sodexo Corporate Services, CEO Julie Ennis and special guest renowned futurist Anne Lise Kjaer discussed the research and what factors business leaders need to consider to future-proof their workplaces at a recent virtual summit.

Anne Lise Kjaer is CEO and founder of Kjaer Global which has been providing businesses and governmental institutions with insights to drive new models for innovation for three decades.  

Anne Lise shared her predictions to simplify the complex trends of future, business and innovation.  She shared with the attendees her thoughts on tomorrow’s futureproof organisations being those that realise the future is now and which are adopting an approach which factors in people, planet, purpose alongside profit.  

Julie Ennis concludes:

This latest research and the insights discussed at our recent virtual summit with Anne Lise lay clear that a future-proofed workplace centres on a human-centric approach with the interplay of people, space, and sustainability at the core.

The future of work is about adapting to these pillars and proactively evolving with them.

Sodexo has taken the results of its Work Experience Tracker and produced a report which can be downloaded here:

Sodexo’s forward-thinking and innovative Vital Spaces proposition aims to boost the employee experience and enhance productivity and comprises an ecosystem of workplace services.


Find out more about Vital Spaces



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