Survey: current offices fail to meet office worker expectations – half prefer to maximise remote working

YIT Corporation Press release 4 December 2023 at 8:00 a.m.

YIT kestavat kaupunkiymparistot barometri toimistot
YIT kestavat kaupunkiymparistot barometri toimistot

According to a survey* commissioned by YIT, the proportion of remote workers has stabilised. More than half (53%) of office workers worked remotely on three to five days a week. Every other (52%) office worker wished to work remotely as much as possible. Remote working was most popular among those aged 36 to 50, especially women.

Employers have not tightened their remote working policies since last year. A third of office workers (33%) were allowed to work remotely continuously. One in every four (24%) office workers said their employer had noticeably restricted the amount of remote work, and in a third of organisations, local and remote days were negotiated at the team level.

In those workplaces where remote working practices were negotiated at the team level, half (51%) of the workers worked remotely on three to five days a week. Almost nine in every ten (89%) respondents who worked remotely weekly wished they could decide their time and place of work in the future.

“Remote working has clearly become established, and hybrid work is the new normal. Based on the survey, employees seem to have more power over where their work takes place, and women especially have taken the opportunity to work remotely. However, every workplace should have rules about when people must come to the office to maximise the benefits of local work and interactions,” says Tuula Klemetti, Sales Director at YIT.

Offices currently fall short of expectations

The survey also included questions about the expectations of urban workers regarding their workplaces. The results indicate that the current state of offices does not fully meet the expectations of the respondents. The ideal workplace would feature dedicated offices (59%), good ventilation and an appropriate temperature (38%), and affordable lunches (32%).

The primary criteria for current offices were personally adjustable workstations (54%) and high-quality tools (36%). The most important criterion for the workplace’s location was an appropriate distance for walking or cycling (56%) or easy access by public transport (53%). Many office workers (23%) desired a public transport ticket as an employee benefit.

“Organisations should come together to discuss their employees’ needs and wishes. One model does not fit all in our modern day. The best solution can be found by considering matters from the perspective of the organisation and comparing them to its culture and values. The company should use these as a foundation to modify their workspaces to support the business and how work is done,” says Klemetti.

Rented remote working spaces are now less interesting than during the peak years of COVID-19. Nearly three in every four (78%) remote workers would prefer to work from home than a nearby remote working space. About one in every five (18%) remote workers would be prepared to pay €20,000 or more for a separate 6–8 square meters study adjacent to their home. In particular, people under 36 and those living in Espoo and Vantaa were interested in homes featuring a separate study.

*The Sustainable Urban Environments survey is directed at the residents of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, and Kuopio in Finland. In 2023, the number of online respondents was 1,058 + 354 (a separate sample of office workers). The data represents the urban population of 18–80-year-old residents, divided by gender, age, and size of city. The survey was carried out between September and October 2023. YIT commissioned Prior Konsultointi to conduct the survey.

Read more:
Sustainable Urban Environments| YITGROUP.COM
Our solutions for business premises |

Further information:
YIT Group Communications, tel. +358 44 743 7536,

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European development and construction company. We develop and build sustainable living environments: functional homes, future-proof public and commercial buildings, infrastructure for smooth mobility, and renewable energy solutions to benefit the climate. We employ around 5,000 professionals in nine countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2022 was EUR 2.4 billion. YIT Corporation’s share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. Read more: