Purpose proves pivotal for employees heading back to the office says Perceptive’s latest research work with OfficeMax

| | No Comments
Purpose proves pivotal for employees heading back to the office says Perceptive’s latest research work with OfficeMax

In a first of its kind research study, OfficeMax, in conjunction with Perceptive and Porter Novelli, has investigated the expectation of workers in a post-Covid economy to understand the relationship between workers’ personal values and the workplace of the future.


The ‘State of the Workplace’ survey of more than 1,000 office workers reveals that purpose and the comforts of home are essential for employee retention and engagement in a post-Covid economy.

Data shows that a high majority of employees focus on the societal impacts of an organisation, with two thirds (67%) stating they will only work for a company that has a positive effect on society – a striking figure against a backdrop of labour shortages and “the great resignation”.

When on the job hunt, 80 per cent of those surveyed say that a company’s stated purpose or mission is important, with more than a third (35%) of under 34-year-olds claiming they would leave their job if their employer contradicted its values or mission.

Additionally, more than half of respondents (53%) say that in general, what’s important to them in an employer has changed over the past couple of years – from personal values to the workplace.

Expectations of the physical workplace have also changed significantly since the pandemic began, with employees aged 55 and over placing higher importance on having clean spaces (58%) and lunchrooms (51%), while the younger age group (under 34) place importance on a modern office (22%) and break-out areas away from desks (14%).

When asked about the one thing their employer could do to improve the physical workplace on a return to office life, the findings reflect the months that workers have just spent at home.

Top-notch technology setups (11%), ergonomic workstations (8%) and improved cleanliness (8%) are deemed a priority, alongside quiet spaces for focus (7%).

For those who have been working at home, having a clear separation between work and home life (47%) and being around people to spark ideas and be more creative (45%) are the things they miss most about being in the office.

Says Ange Dunn, business director at Perceptive: “What’s interesting to see from this research work with OfficeMax is that while salary still plays a significant part in what employees value, it is the ‘softer’ attributes such as culture, leadership and expressing honesty that is critically important in the decision around deciding who to work for.”

Says Jack Humphries, senior research consultant, Perceptive: “In the era of “the great resignation” it’s never been more critical for employers to understand the connection between employee values and physical workplace needs, which is exactly why OfficeMax wanted to conduct this study.

“I think the findings from this research work will prove very useful for many businesses as they welcome employees back to the office, and it’s a credit to OfficeMax for wanting to share this with business leaders throughout New Zealand.