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Castellum 2021 in brief

The workplace of the future welcomes its employees 

Views on working life have changed. Castellum’s annual "Working life of the future" survey shows that the trend toward increased flexibility has been boosted at the same time as employees’ demands on their employers are increasing.

Charlie Chaplin’s classic film from 1936, Modern Times, portrayed the working life of the future. It was a dark vision of the future, characterised by the workplace. The workers there had monotonous tasks, the working environment was horrible, and physical and mental health were poor. But this vision of the future has not aged particularly well – in our part of the world, at any rate. Happily, many people now feel that they have meaningful work tasks, which they can perform flexibly in a positive environment. And physical and mental well-being and values are becoming increasingly important.

Young people miss the office most

People want to continue using flexible working methods even after the pandemic, says Lena Lid Falkman, researcher in activity-based workplaces at the Stockholm School of Business. Employers who can offer flexibility will have a major competitive advantage when the demands imposed on them increase. At the same time, the year’s survey showed that young people are the ones who miss their offices and coworkers most. Crowded living space and greater need for managerial support as a new entry into the labour market may be the causes behind this.

Coworking has increased dramatically over the past few years. This involves workplaces that are shared by several companies and can be regarded as a kind of sharing service among offices, much like Uber or AirBnB in other fields. Coworking is easy, cost-effective and climate-smart. Castellum has been one of the pioneers in coworking and is the largest player in the Nordic region through its subsidiary, United Spaces.

Colleagues are key

What is a key element in making an attractive workplace? In the survey, 87% answered that good colleagues are most important by far. The location of the workplace and flexible work hours also ranked high. Proximity to shopping and services were far behind. This may be a sign in a time when people no longer physically need to go to stores or restaurants, but can go online to have almost anything they want delivered to their door. The contrast with Charlie Chaplin’s worker in Modern Times, who was so bound to his spot in the factory that he ultimately got caught up in the machinery, could not be greater.