Work life balance: a priority for employees

Work life balance has now replaced a comfortable salary as the number one priority for employees

September 07, 2021

Almost everyone has experienced remote working over the past 17 months with many continuing to work from home or third party locations as new waves of the pandemic and restrictions come and go. Earlier this year, JLL research surveyed more than 3,300 office workers globally with almost half of the respondents located in APAC. We wanted to find out how remote working has impacted the workforce and discover how employee expectations of their employer are changing. Our findings reveal that the pandemic has created both opportunities and challenges with significant implications for corporates and workplaces.

  • In a similar survey in mid-2020, employees told us that they wanted to work two days per week in the office and three remotely. In our latest findings, these numbers have reversed and employees want to spend two days a week at home and three in the office. Evidently, while employees continue to value flexibility, their appetite for a return to the office is growing.
  • Employees do not necessarily miss sitting at their desk from 9 to 5 but instead they crave the social side of the office. While many day to day tasks can be completed anywhere, technology cannot replace chance encounters with colleagues, socialising and face to face collaboration. Offices equipped with areas to socialise and collaboration space are likely to be best placed to entice employees back.
  • Work-life balance has emerged as the number one employee priority, ahead of a comfortable salary. Most employees want the freedom to choose their working hours as well as where they work from.
  • Productivity levels at home are on the decline from our previous survey but at the same time satisfaction levels with offices are also waning. Employee expectations of corporate workplaces are rising. However, more than 90% of those that were highly satisfied with their office strongly miss it which indicates that an outstanding office is key to engaging employees and encouraging them back to the corporate workplace

It’s clear that employees want an outstanding work experience and sustainable workplaces which cater to their health and wellness needs. They also want flexibility in terms of when and where they work. Offices are likely to become the primary place of work again as long as they meet the evolving requirements of the workforce.