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Only one-third of Asia Pacific workplaces have an environment that elevates employee performance, JLL's recent report finds.

Surveying 1,500 employees in Australia, mainland China, India, Japan and Singapore, the report first redefines ‘high performers’ as those that have access to high impact work environment e.g. sophisticated spaces, technology tools and work practices. In contrast, 'low performers' refer to those who do not have access to a work environment with collaborative spaces, sophisticated technology or an inclusive culture.

Among them, seven in 10 high performers practised flexible work, including flexible hours and work-from-home, in comparison to only 34% of low performers.

Technology workers (53%) and young professionals aged between 25 to 34 (37%) make up the majority of high performers. As much as high performers made the most use out of flexible work, they felt that the office was a critical factor to performance. At least eight in 10 (84%) of them said they missed the office during lockdown as it allowed them access to a range of spaces and technologies for productivity and collaboration.

One way to improve performance is by increasing access to a wider range of sophisticated workplaces and technologies. The report found that the more varied and innovative the spaces and technologies provided, the higher the workplace satisfaction of employees.

Acting and thriving as a social hub will be key to the success of the office in the future, with 96% of high performers highlighting that they had access to spaces that promote informal interactions among colleagues such as outdoor terraces, game rooms and on-site coffee shops and baristas.

Working remotely can feel very isolating and technology has not been able to fully compensate for the lack of personal contact. This need for a cohesive community is where the physical office can make all the difference. Availability of social spaces creates stronger social bonds among colleagues, which positively influence their collective performance.

“As organisations embrace the future of work, employers should be looking to bring out the best performance in employees. This could be allowing them the flexibility to work in the way that suits them best, designing the ideal setting for creativity and innovation, creating a human work environment that promotes open and caring relationships, and cultivating a sense of community with common purpose and vision,” said Kamya Miglani, director of corporate solutions research at JLL Asia Pacific.

“The workplace of the future will need to be employee-centric and offer fulfilment, freedom and choice,” she added. 

JLL's Human Performance Indicator (HPI) is a new formula that gives a view of how different aspects of the workplace such as spaces, technology and culture combine to elevate human performance. Surveyed employees provided scores on the availability and impact of their workspaces, technology tools and cultural aspects. Using the scores, a final HPI was calculated. The HPI score can vary between 0-100 and helps identify working environment and conditions that improve the performance of employees.