ABSL: 4 out of 5 people are influenced by the office environment when choosing a new job

A modern office environment is an increasingly important aspect when deciding to accept a job. 86% of respondents in a recent survey by the ABSL Association consider it important for offices to have enough light, place for team and individual work, space for relaxation, preparation of lunch and even networking with colleagues. Companies in the field of business services consider cultivation of the work environment to be one of the priorities that will help them recruit new employees.

“The fact that employees now consider the work environment to be important is also confirmed by additional findings from our survey, realised in cooperation with the JLL and Skanska companies, these being that 73% of job applicants would like to see their workplace before signing the employment contract,“ says Jonathan Appleton, director of the ABSL Association, which associates companies in the business services sector in the Czech Republic. “This particularly applies to generation Y, which is very important for the labour market and makes up most of the employees in our segment. This is why our members’ offices offer a number of specialities so that employees feel good there and can relax as well as working, which is very important in the case of intellectual and creative activities.“ We can frequently find not only desks and conference rooms in the offices of companies in the business services sector, but also for example dark rooms for meditating or napping, cocktail bars and terraces with outdoor kitchens or barbeques and rock rooms with guitars and drums.

A pleasant work environment ranks third
The importance of an attractive work environment was also confirmed by a survey by the Randstad personnel agency. In this survey, the appearance of the office ranked third on the scale of aspects according to which employees from Central Europe decide whether to accept a job.

“A pleasant work environment is one of the attributes that people require from potential employers and ranks third, immediately after attractive financial compensation and job certainty. Men and women of various age categories agree on this, with the exception of employees over 45 years of age, for whom work-life balance is a more important work attribute,” says Hana Púllová, director of the Randstad Company, and she added: “The most sought after employers therefore endeavour to continuously improve the environment within the company, they ensure pleasant and ergonomically laid out offices and offer their people free refreshments and various opportunities for sports and relaxation activities at the workplace.”

The best innovating work environment is at SAP Services
The SAP Services Company is a company that considers the work environment to be one of its priorities. This company was awarded the ABSL Diamonds 2017 award in the Innovative work environment category for the project for its new offices. “I appreciate the final result of the winning project, in the form of a unique and effective working environment, where a healthy lifestyle, ecology and leisure activities all have space, and also the fact that the company’s employees were also involved in its realisation,” Jonathan Appleton commented.

The goal of the project, titled One SAP – Creating Our Future Together, was to move three legal entities of the SAP Company on the Czech market (SAP Services, Concur and SAP Ariba) into one building, and also to provide employees with a first-class work environment. The offices of an area of 24,000 m2 also offer generous relaxation zones, of an area of 3 m2 for each employee. In 2016 this was the largest leased office area in the Czech Republic.

Promoting communication between employees and across various teams in the new areas was very important to us. This led to increased synergy and creativity. It was clear from the start that the employees themselves must determine the direction in building a dream office, which is why they were part of the entire design process,” Andrea Hepnerová, director of SAP Services informed us, with the understanding that the entire process lasted approximately 3 months. During this period representatives of individual company teams were able to submit proposals for office layout and equipment, view furniture and test chairs and seats and similar. All the materials were subsequently provided to the architects for processing.

The result of this joint effort was a first-class office area, in which open space is divided into smaller units and also offers a number of private zones. SAP Services offices are equipped with adjustable ergonomic tables and chairs and mobile furniture, they also include spacious kitchenettes and dining rooms and a separate children’s play area, showers are a matter of course. Employees of SAP Services also have thematically differentiated relaxation zones available, which includes a weight room, table football and cinema. The area includes terraces with a barbeque and gardens, a caravan for relaxing in and other equipment promoting a pleasantly and comfortable spent working period.

The complex is equipped with a number of first-class modern technologies, individual conference rooms and shared areas are interlinked by screens and the in-house IT Department provides employees with support in a form similar to the one customers of the Apple Store are accustomed to for instance. There is also an in-house post room in the building so that mail can be sent easily and telephone cabins also contribute to uninterrupted work and privacy for instance.