NCC’s survey: Five trends shaping the future of work

Hybrid work is the new normal, soulless offices are out and the time when you could pretend to work is over. According to a survey carried out by NCC in Finland, the working life of white-collar workers has changed forever and the most considerable changes are related to the growing power of employees.

According to the survey, carried out by NCC Property Development in Finland, the labour shortages will grow worse, the talent war more severe, and the attractive power of organisations will be put to a real test. The labour market is experiencing the biggest transformation since World War II. The consequences will mean largely three things to the employers:

  • You can no longer make knowledge workers come to the office – they will come when they choose to do so, if at all. Hybrid work is regarded as the new normal.
  • The entire culture will be subject to a thorough evaluation: talent will be drawn towards value-based businesses offering the required freedom of choice.
  • Time as the measurement of work is losing its value; success and the financial value of labour input will be measured by results and efficiency. Discussions of a four-day work week are becoming more frequent.

Change in corporate culture

The change seems to be a fundamental one: people want to feel both mentally and physically fit at work, enjoy humane leadership, smooth combination of remote and present work, and digital tools. In the future, a more determined and strategic approach will be taken to culture, where the top management will participate in the choices.

NCC will use the survey results to get a deeper customer understanding which in turn will enable designing better offices.

“The survey results indicate that offices will be even more tailored to the culture of each individual company and that the office will fluctuate even more in time. It seems like the daily rhythm of individuals and office routines have changed, and more changes could happen in the future. The ideas that were raised by the survey make a great basis for discussions with the clients”, says Eelis Rytkönen at NCC Property Development.

What will happen to the offices of companies?

According to the survey titled ‘The Changing Face of Work’ carried out by NCC Property Development in Finland, the offices of white-collar organizations must promote community spirit, creativity, and sharing. The space use is becoming more of a strategic choice of each individual company. The functionality, ergonomics, accessibility and feeling of the spaces must reach a level where the employees will choose to come to the office instead of staying home.

“It’s clear that offices need to be more appealing regarding lighting, air quality, acoustics, furniture, and services. We must allow for more encounters, but, on the other hand, offer space that permit focusing on silent work, at least momentarily” says Eelis Rytkönen.

There is a tangible demand for changing the existing spaces, but we have not exactly come up with a concrete concept for the future office.

“Uncertainty and the speed of the change are increasing on the office market, which also creates opportunities for new inventions. The better we can understand the demands, offer flexibility space- and contract-wise, create sustainable city environments and develop our projects as part of the evolving city spaces and services, the higher the number of satisfied office users will be”, Eelis Rytkönen, NCC Property Development establishes.

The survey discovered five trends which will transform working life:

  • Hybrid work will change attitudes
  • The time of pretending to work is over
  • The best culture wins
  • Soulless offices are out
  • Employees have become masters

Download the research ‘The Changing Face of Work’ here:

The Changing Face of Work - PDF

About the survey:

Author of the survey: Un/known Oy
Research method: 586 white-collar workers answered the questions and 13 experts were interviewed
Time of survey research: May-June 2022
Eelis Rytkönen, Urban Developer-hippie, NCC Property Development,
Merja Alastalo, Head of Communications, NCC in Finland,