SINGAPORE – As we continue to navigate a global pandemic, employers are contemplating how to strike the ideal balance between working from home and slowly relocating back to the office safely. A recent Nespresso Professional Study in Singapore on the ‘Future of Workplace’ has revealed that over 70% of employees feel they are more productive in the office than working from home in the long-term and miss being in a physical space with their colleagues and of course, their pantry coffee.
The study conducted by Nespresso Professional, Nespresso’s Business-to-Business arm, was conducted specifically in Singapore. A sample size of 1,000 working professionals across industries including finance, technology, marketing and human resources were surveyed for their insights about the future of work and coffee culture in Singapore, that revealed four key shifts.
In a period of many adjustments both physical and virtual, 61% of respondents felt less connected to their colleagues in 2020, impacting their sense of belonging to the workplace and their work performance. Singaporeans are also missing their daily office luxuries including coffee breaks with their co-workers, with 66% of those surveyed expressing that coffee is key when working, especially in a physical office building.
So, what defines the new normal for the workplace of tomorrow? Some other insights from the study found:
- 59% of respondents don’t feel the future of work is necessarily restricted to a physical office
- 81% say flexible workplaces reduce stress
- 68% of respondents also said a coffee break was fundamental to their work and routines
- But 45% say that a separate environment is needed between work and life to ensure a balance as 1 in 3 are struggling with a lack of defined work hours and structure
- 23% still feel the pressure to be productive when not working in an office
- And 3 out of 5 say a sense of belonging impacts their productivity
- Finally, 55% say their productivity is driven by access to the right tools. Among them nearly half say that the pantry is one of the key tools
“Singaporeans are incredibly resilient, and we’ve had a year of adaptation and evolution in working styles. It’s amazing to be able to tap into digital and virtual working spaces and environments but sometimes we just miss getting together in the office pantry and bonding over a cup of good coffee or laughing at a silly joke together. Our work styles are all about balance and ensuring we feel productive and happy at the same time,” Anna Haotanto, Partner & COO for ABZD Capital shared.
The study also includes insights from market leaders including Ong Choon Fah, Chief Executive Officer, Edmund Tie & Company and Owner & Founder of Indochine Media Ventures, Michael Von Schlippe.
“One of the top jobs in a leader’s position is to make sure you provide the right environment for people to actually perform best. Naturally, this may vary from industry to industry and every company will have a different set of priorities and it will, to a certain degree, depend on the people you have working for you. You want people to be excited to go to work and experience a group of people who really want to work together and help each other. For me, coffee is a very important part of that equation,” shared Michael Von Schlippe.
Ong Choon Fah, Chief Executive Officer, Edmund Tie & Company agrees, sharing that the future of workplaces extends far beyond the nuances of where we choose to work from and is focused more on ensuring we retain the human connections that truly make an office a collaborative and communal space to be productive in, even during these unusual times.
“The future of work has nothing to do with the work itself. It’s about the human values that you layer on top of it. When you’re at the office, you see your colleagues working around you. So, there’s a sense of community spirit whether you actively interact with people or not. It’s very different from working alone at home where you have a sense of isolation especially if it’s over a period of time,” shared Ong Choon Fah.
“Prioritizing employee experience is imperative for the workplace to ensure well-being and productivity. While coffee has always been associated with boosting productivity, in a changing world, it has a renewed purpose of enhancing human connections as a fluid and flexible workplace future adds more distractions to our plate,” added Peilin Lee, Head of Marketing, Nespresso Singapore.
The full report also provides insights on how business leaders can tap into coffee and workplace social initiatives to further drive productivity including:
- Using ‘coffee catchups’ as a way in to become aware of and understand the personal circumstances of employees that might affect their productivity.
- Sending coffee care kits and helping employees stock up on quality coffee and reminding them to take a break for balance.
- Starting a dialogue with employees over coffee to signal an environment of trust where people feel comfortable to be honest about how they’re feeling.
- Elevating the office pantry into a social space that inspires people to mingle and get to know each other when at the office.