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Survey: 73 % of respondents would you like to see their workstation and workplace before signing the contract of employment

ABSL, JLL and Skanska reveal more interesting facts from their latest survey which lets employees speak out on the ideal office and its attributes

​Prague, 12 January 2016 – 73 % of surveyed staff would appreciate to have the opportunity to see their potential workplace prior to signing an employment contract. “This corresponds with the general perception of the industry that employees are educated about their rights and privileges, and pay attention to the general working environment,” says Petr Kareš, Head of Tenant Representation at JLL.

“In order to raise productivity, staff should be provided with a comfortable, spacious and flexible workstation, and the availability of “quiet zones” for individual work. In addition, an efficient air conditioning and ventilation system plus access to sufficient daylight is a must for wellbeing at work. The location of the office building came in 9th place in the research, behind access to free coffee, tea and soft drinks, separate relax and creative zones, the provision of green areas including, the proximity or views of the office building to parks and greenery. On the contrary, games rooms did not appear as important to those surveyed (12 %),” adds Blanka Vačkova, Head of Research at JLL.

Nowadays, most modern office design includes open space planning. This open approach influences and supports team work and the effectiveness of people. “This is particularly important in the business services sector where teams of professionals work together to provide services in accounting, legal, marketing services, IT and research and development.  A well-organised open space can eliminate noise, which is considered to be the single most disturbing factor of the workplace. Open space has been increasingly popular as a business strategy and according to the Eurostat survey, people prefer this type of set up to small, isolated office rooms,” says Jonathan Appleton, Managing Director of ABSL representing companies within the business services sector, that took part in the survey.

The importance of a well-designed flexible workplace set-up, which combines comfort and different needs of particular job roles and activities, is highlighted by the list of things that bother the respondents the most in their workplace. As the most disruptive factor at work, the respondents reported noise which was then followed by inefficient air-conditioning and ventilation systems. “This clearly relates to the office space density. Some of the corporates have offices in older, less efficient buildings, with air-conditioning and ventilation systems incapable of servicing the density of 5–7 sq m per person, in contrast to the most modern office premises. Despite this fact, and although less common in modern office buildings, it is extremely difficult to adjust the temperature to a level that is comfortable for all staff in large open spaces,” says Petr Kareš.

Difficulties in the proper adjustment of air conditioning and ventilation on larger floor plates, or simply inefficient systems make an openable window an attractive solution. Our research clearly demonstrates that office staff prefer to have an openable window near their workplace. They highly value any contact with fresh air, particularly during the warmer months. Having said that, some of the newly developed buildings have significantly higher air quality than older or obsolete buildings, and this may reduce the need for openable windows.

When it comes to lunch, the largest majority of respondents (32 %) usually eat out at canteen or restaurant outside of the office building. This was followed by 30 % who usually eat at a canteen within their office buildings (where available). Access to adequate food services within or near to the workplace scored highly in respondents preferences. The office kitchen was a preferred choice by 19 % of those surveyed. This could suggest that either office kitchens do not have sufficient capacity for the number of employees or, people generally prefer to take a break from their workplace and eat elsewhere.

“Office space can highly influence the decision of prospective employees when choosing an employer. It is increasingly important for an organization to attract and retain the best employees in the war for talent. According to the survey, 86% of employees believe that a modern office fit-out designed to increase productivity can improve the organization’s chances of attracting young talent. As a developer of prime Class A commercial office space, Skanska is very excited to be a part of the solution to attract the best people this generation has to offer.” concludes Marie Passburg, Managing Director of Skanska Property Czech Republic.

About the survey
The basis for this analysis was an in-depth online survey that received over 1,400 responses from employees of the modern services sector. The majority of responses collected came from the 4 major cities of the country namely: Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen. Where appropriate we have split the results to show differences or similarities between the capital and regional cities. This survey is one of the first and largest surveys of its kind in the Czech Republic.

About ABSL
ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders) is an organisation gathering companies within a shared business services sector. This segment is a strong employment resource in the Czech Republic - gives job to 65,000 employees and creates turnover around 80 billion Czech crowns which is 1,5% of the GDP of the Czech Republic. ABSL was established in 2013 and its goal is to support business service organisations, to share best practices and to develop the activities of its members and other subjects in this sector. At the same time, ABSL provides foreign investors with support to help them establish new business services centres in the country. More information at

About Skanska
Skanska Property Czech Republic, s.r.o., a subsidiary of Skanska Commercial Development Europe, specializes in commercial property development. It has been operating on the Czech market since 1997 and has since completed numerous administrative buildings and commercial spaces. Skanska Property Czech Republic is currently developing sustainable administrative building Corso Court in Prague 8 – Karlín.