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When you bring people together in spaces that best support their needs – where they work, learn and heal – they will be more satisfied, productive and creative.

Together, Steelcase and EKA Hellas SA can share the leading insights, smart solutions and innovative products to transform your spaces and inspire and engage those who use them. Visit Steelcase to learn more.

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EKA Hellas

Present and Future of the Workplace. A global research by Steelcase

A contemporary workspace with a meeting table surrounded by meeting chairs and a wide circular sofa with a table in the middle.

Since April 2020, Steelcase, the global leader in designing and manufacturing workplace equipment, has been conducting a series of global opinion research on workplace changes regarding people, wellbeing, and productivity. At the same time, the research examines the new needs and wants of employees and leaders from the workplace and work, in general.


Through 14 research conducted in 11 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Mexico, UK, US, and Spain) more than 63,000 employees and 1230 leaders were surveyed, making this Steelcase research one of the most important of its kind and an excellent sample of the various trends and changes that are coming in the workplace soon.
The first official results from the survey were published in December 2022 and the most important conclusion was that employee satisfaction has dropped along with a reduction in work-life balance, productivity, and connection to company culture. At the same time, the likelihood of leaving their job increased.


Remote employees feel the least connected to the mission and purpose of the organization, whereas hybrid employees consistently show a better connection to the company.


Graph showing employee's connection the organization depending on whether they work in the office, remotely or hybrid


Leaders recognize these challenges and research indicates new priorities are gaining momentum, such as employee wellbeing, sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

On a national level, in France leaders prioritize employee wellbeing with 80%, sustainability comes second with 70& and DEI follows with 67%. In the UK and the US, leaders prioritize these workplace priorities in the same order. In Spain these priorities appear again in the same order but with lower percentages, 77% of leaders prioritize employee wellbeing, 73% sustainability, and 70% DEI). In Germany, while employee wellbeing remains first with 83% of leaders making it a priority, DEI comes second with 81% and sustainability is in third place with 75%.

three figures showing the percentages of the new workplace priorities according to leaders

In-office or remote work

The latest research shows that in some countries there is still a difference between what leaders expect and what employees want. In the UK and the US, leaders expected 65% of employees to work from the office, but only 53% in the UK and 55% in the US returned. In contrast, in Germany, Spain, and France employees were more likely to return to the office exceeding leaders’ expectations. In France, in particular, leaders expected 70% of employees to return to the office but 85% returned.


Leaders prefer to encourage employees to return to the office with percentages ranging from 58% (France) to 72% (Spain). Only some leaders demand a return to the office (20% at the most and only in a few countries). To encourage a return to the office leaders plan to improve the workplace (70%) and offer more amenities (53%). Increasing compensation/bonus or other benefits follows as incentives with lower percentages.

These changes in the workplace are connected to the significant increase in workstation sharing (hotdesking). By 2025, only 43% of employees are expected to have a dedicated workstation, while the expected ratio of people-to-workspace is 3:1. That doesn’t mean that employees will not have a place to work at the office. There will just be different working options. Since 2019 there have been fewer individual working spaces and more collaboration spaces, a trend expected to increase in the next few years.

In the workplace of the future, envisioned by Steelcase, there will be workstations for individual work, collaboration areas, social areas, and learning areas. Different spaces offer employees the comfort, security, productivity, and belonging they desire from their workplace. After all, today’s workspaces coexist 4 generations, and Generation Zgraph showing employee return to the office actual vs expected in different countries is expected to reach 30% of the workforce within the next year. As a result, the workplace should be able to accommodate different people’s different needs, expectations, and working styles. At the same time, it should be able to support the new priorities that have taken center stage in the workplace – wellbeing, DEI, and sustainability. This way, employees will want and choose to be in the workplace.


The research was presented in Greece at the 2024 Future of Work Conference by Mr. Pantelis Kouzis, General Manager of EKA Hellas.


Interested in the research? Download your copy bellow.

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