News by Paul Ferretti
écrit le 14 May 2024, MÀJ le 12 June 2024
14 May 2024
Temps de lecture : 7 minutes
7 min

A virtuous cycle: Techspace's 2024 Scaleup Culture Report reveals a shift toward in-office workdays

Techspace, a leading provider of flexible workspace solutions for the technology ecosystem, today unveiled its annual Scaleup Culture Report, revealing insights into the evolving landscape of the UK tech industry.
Temps de lecture : 7 minutes

More often than not, things go full circle.

200 million years ago, the continents were assembled in one single mega continent: Pangea. 250 million years from now, Pangea will form again.

Far from being a fatalistic syndrom, it is one of hope.

Contrarly to the tectonic plates, whose perpetual movement shapes mountains, undiscerningly splitting nations and continents, the human thirst for progress and improvement turn these never-ending cycles into virtuous ones.

In myths and modern tales, such as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, we can see this prosperious cycle operate. Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces', wrote the following:

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man".

Alike Frodo returning to the Shire, the hero comes back to where they first came, but with a sense of growth, after learning a valuable lesson, or bringing peace to their land and themselves.

As our relationship with work has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, we have witnessed a never-seen-before upheaval, with remote work lastingly implanting into our daily lives. But now, many are pushing for hybrid work, which would combine advantages of both in-office and remote working. Remote working has never been about changing the whole system, but finding the right balance for work, for life, and for us.

To prove this point, Techspace unveils its annual Scaleup Culture Report, revealing insights into the evolving landscape of the UK tech industry. Conducted by Sapio Research and based on a survey of 2000 tech employees, the report sheds light on significant shifts in workplace preferences and perceptions.

Back to square 1.01

The report's most significant finding is the resurgence of in-office work days among UK tech professionals. Contrary to previous trends, there has been a notable shift towards embracing structured office time, with Monday to Wednesday emerging as the top choices for in-office workdays. This preference indicates a growing recognition of the benefits of face-to-face collaboration and a desire for a more traditional office environment.

“Much of the narrative over the last few years has concerned what employees think is best for them." says Jonathan Bevan, CEO of Techspace

"Our 2023 report showed a very clear difference between the days employees chose to be in the office and the number of days they felt necessary for their team or company to work at its best.", emphasised Jonathan.

"It’s interesting to witness employees choosing more in-person work this year and, in turn, effectively closing that gap. The report suggests this down to the need to collaborate, the social side of being with work colleagues and also an increasing recognition that new ideas come best through in person interaction.”

Flexibility is a necessity

The 2024 report findings reveal a significant increase to 79% of respondents using flexible office space compared to last year's report. A large part of this increase may be attributed to companies shifting from longer-term leasehold agreements to more flexible contracts as a result of the pandemic. Full-time remote respondents who use coworking spaces for drop-in days are likely to influence this increase.

In addition, the number of companies adopting hybrid working models has reduced by one-third, with many transitioning to full-time office-based roles.

Respondents now prefer an average of three days in the office per week, marking a significant 30 per cent shift from last year. Most respondents believe returning to a five-day workweek is a good idea, driven by challenges in team productivity and communication when working from home.

“A huge amount of culture creation within an organisation comes not from the organised Christmas party, but from people working together and solving problems, and ultimately building relationships through that process." says Charles Armitage, CEO of Florence.

Tech setup ranked third in importance for professionals, following in-person meetings and colleague interactions, both formal and informal. Techspace differentiates itself by its approach to building a community, with flexible workspaces, event spaces, and meeting rooms designed for forward-thinking teams to work at their best. A highlight of Techspace is its superior technology infrastructure, positioning it as a leading choice for businesses seeking advanced tech solutions.

Mondays are so back

The report’s findings reveal a notable shift in the preference for the number of in-office days among professionals, who now favour a three-day workweek. Contrary to previous trends, Monday to Wednesday are the most popular days, indicating a growing preference for starting the week on the right foot. A notion predominantly spearheaded by Sales, Marketing and Operational roles.

With Monday’s resurgence in popularity (57 per cent of correspondents opted for Monday in comparison to 29 per cent choosing Friday), it reflects a trend towards balancing remote work with structured office time, allowing individuals to optimise their work-life balance while maintaining productivity.

Lurking AI

The Techspace report also sheds light on growing concerns surrounding AI's impact on the job market, covering a wide range of topics, issues, and preferences. Nationally, 17 per cent of respondents reported AI replacing roles within their organisations, with this figure increasing to over 26 per cent in London. The data also indicates that this phenomenon predominantly affects larger companies with 250 or more employees. This underscores the need for businesses to navigate the delicate balance between embracing technological innovation and addressing workforce apprehensions about job security. As companies adapt to changing workplace dynamics, investing in reskilling initiatives and fostering a culture of continuous learning to prepare employees for the future of work becomes increasingly vital.

Jonathan Bevan concluded: "The data clearly indicates AI is already having a significant impact on the jobs both in terms of jobs being lost and new jobs created.  As the tech industry continues to innovate and evolve, it's crucial that companies communicate with their teams openly as they adapt, whilst simultaneously educating and upskilling the workforce to ensure employees develop skills that allow them to work alongside AI."

Commenting on the Techspace Scaleup Culture Report, Ellie Steel, Group Director of Operations at Tech Nation & Founders Forum Group, said, "This report provides fantastic insights into what the UK tech force is truly looking for when it comes to how, when and where they work. Each company will have their own priorities and needs - balancing what employees might be asking for, with what the company needs to succeed. As a business centred around its community, we recognise the benefits of building in-person relations to foster collaboration, idea creation and support learning and upskilling. For growing businesses, there is an opportunity to think creatively about the role the office space plays in engaging teams and attracting top talent."

Alongside the Scaleup Culture Report, Techspace is launching a six-part podcast series that provides further insights into the working lives of UK scaleups. It will be hosted by Jane Wakefield, a former senior BBC technology reporter. The series includes interviews with two of Techspace's member companies and three of Tech Nation's Future Fifty companies. It will conclude with a conversation with Techspace CEO Jonathan Bevan.

For more insights and to download the full Scaleup Culture Report:

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