Office mandates are hindering talent attraction in Germany, with more than a third (34%) struggling to hire as a result of enforced office returns
43% of the workforce spends four days or more in the office
52% of German employees struggle to effectively carry out their core role in the office due to distractions and the number of meetings they attend
Businesses in Germany are struggling to recruit due to mandated office returns, with employees moving jobs due to a lack of work life balance and misaligned cultures. That is according to a new study by global workplace creation experts Unispace.
Returning for Good, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report – which combined the results of an in-depth survey of 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders from 17 countries worldwide – found that while 43% of the German workforce currently spends four days in the office, just 22% want to be in the workplace this often.
86% of German businesses have mandated various office returns, which has left 34% of employers struggling to hire as a result. According to the report, these recruitment difficulties are being exacerbated by employee turnover rates, with 25% of workers revealing that they have left their job in the last two years due to an unsustainable work life balance. A further 25% moved due to disliking the workplace culture.
Despite the impact of mandates on the workforce, 80% of employers expect to see workers back in the office at least four days a week, with 41% believing this will happen by 2025.
Offices impacting productivity
A lack of privacy and access to quiet, focus areas were cited as key dislikes of current workplaces in Germany. Over a third (36%) of workers said they felt more effective in a quiet space remotely, while 35% were lacking the privacy they could get at home. This inability to work productively in the workplace is further evidenced by the fact that 52% of German employees indicated that they struggle to carry out their core role effectively in the office.
Matthew Zych, Regional Director, Central Europe, at Unispace, commented:
“Despite German businesses wanting their employees to attend the office more regularly, our findings show that they need to offer more to actively encourage them back. Socialisation with peers was ranked as a top reason to go to the office (33%), however workers also report being more distracted in the office, suggesting that firms need to think about the types of spaces they offer and whether they are conducive to creating a comfortable and productive working environment.”
“While they can use mandates to get workers to return, the data shows that this is not particularly effective and that employees will leave if they are forced to go to an office when they do not want to, which will only worsen the existing recruitment and retention challenges many businesses are already facing.”