When collaboration with colleagues or teamwork is strategically important for the success of the whole organisation, and when the employer provides the right conditions for it, there are more reasons for hybrid workers to plan more of their work activities in the office. These insights come from a survey of nearly 1,600 employees of Danske Bank Lithuania, based on the Leesman international workplace effectiveness assessment system. According to the survey, the Technology and Services Centre ranks among 3.4% of the highest-rated offices worldwide. With a Leesman index of 82.5, it is also among the 30 best-rated workplaces in the history of the survey.
A sense of community is important for employee productivity
Danske Bank Lithuania conducted the Leesman survey in 2019 and 2022 to compare the impact of the workplace on job satisfaction and productivity. The employees were based in different offices around Vilnius when the survey was conducted in 2019. The new Danske Bank Campus had already been opened and teams had relocated when the survey was done in 2022.
‘The survey was also a useful tool for evaluating how the offices functioned and handled the demands brought to them after the pandemic,’ says Vilius Lukauskas, Head of Global Services Centre Administration at Danske Bank.
‘In terms of time spent in the office, which amounts to about 40% of the total working time, we are similar to other hybrid market players.’
The results of both surveys note that the productivity of teams and individual employees increased after the pandemic. According to V. Lukauskas, this is influenced not only by the physical work environment but also by the sense of community that this environment fosters.
The company is not new to hybrid working, with teams spread across eight different countries. According to V. Lukauskas, when designing the new offices, focus was given to how to make them pleasant for employees who work in different roles and how to boost their productivity and creativity.
‘In terms of time spent in the office, which amounts to about 40% of the total working time, we are similar to other hybrid market players. However, we are constantly looking for answers to the questions of how to show employees the benefits and advantages of teamwork in a single physical location, how to encourage employees to choose to work in the office more often and plan their working week together with their managers, how to increase their engagement, how to maintain and improve employee motivation,’ says V. Lukauskas.
Employees have more reasons to plan their work in the office
The results of the Leesman survey show that the physical conditions that are important for collaborative activities, such as meeting rooms of various sizes, audiovisual equipment, a workplace reservation system and convenient communication with colleagues, are identified by employees of Danske Bank Lithuania as fully meeting their needs and exceeding expectations. ‘We have adapted the meeting rooms to the needs of different teams: we are trying to ensure that the same level of efficiency can be maintained by both: teams meeting in person and teams using hybrid calls,’ says V. Lukauskas.
‘The productivity and well-being of employees cannot be ensured by a just modern and comfortable office – it is important to have an infrastructure that meets their needs and helps them save time.’
Employee satisfaction with break-out zones has also increased by more than a third during the years of the pandemic. ‘The productivity and well-being of employees cannot be ensured by a just modern and comfortable office – it is important to have an infrastructure that meets their needs and helps them save time. When designing the working environment in the new offices, we have implemented ideas that are intended not only for work but also for leisure, informal meetings, and activities. For example, the campus has a gym, a studio for music sessions and podcast recordings, lounges, napping, children’s rooms, and spaces to cook meals together with the team. Employees can use the services of dry cleaning, sign up their children for IT and sports activities and more,’ says V. Lukauskas.
The most common reason for working from home is the commute time
In the survey, Danske Bank Lithuania employees were also asked what motivates them to work from home. The main reasons why employees spend part of their working time at home are related to commuting to and from the office and the time or the cost of doing so. This was cited by 46% of the respondents as the main reason.
12% of respondents believe that they are more productive at home. ‘Colleagues who work on individual tasks that require a lot of concentration usually plan their working week accordingly. If the day’s work is individual, they are more likely to stay at home and thus remain more productive. And if they have a lot of tasks that require teamwork, they are more likely to go to the office,’ says V. Lukauskas.
On the other hand, meeting colleagues was the number one reason for going to the office rather than staying at home, according to 48% of Danske Bank Lithuania employees.
‘We can see how other organisations are successfully implementing similar solutions, thus raising the bar for quality in the market, and the positive impact is reflected in employee surveys and work results’
‘Danske Bank provides financial support for employees to set up a comfortable workplace at home. However, we find that working from home does not yet replace the benefits of the office: teamwork and learning from each other are more effective when meeting in person, different office spaces allow employees to concentrate or relax, and even colleagues who have planned their working day at home often drop by for lunch. We can see how other organisations are successfully implementing similar solutions, thus raising the bar for quality in the market, and the positive impact is reflected in employee surveys and work results,’ says V. Lukauskas.