A new survey shows that poor sentiment towards in-office work by employees presents a significant challenge for employers.

A survey released Thursday by workplace-design consultancy Unispace, found that 50 per cent of employees are now in the office at least four days a week, but only 31 per cent of Canadian employees approve of the current model.

“The data from Canadian respondents shows that employers are clearly emphasizing the value of the workplace, but this, by itself, may not be enough to drive successful employee engagement and performance,” Ryan Caffyn-Parsons, the chief executive officer of The Americas at Unispace, said in a news release

The survey found that 55 per cent of workers felt reluctant about working in the office, which was slightly higher than the global average of 51 per cent. Some of the main factors behind employee dissatisfaction with office work included a lack of privacy and lower levels of productivity.  

And while 41 per cent of those surveyed indicated they sat at a shared workstation, 79 per cent of respondents stated they would view working in the office more favourably if they had an assigned desk. 

Around 27 per cent of employers indicated that learning and development opportunities were among the main benefits of in-office work. However, employees ranked those fourteenth on the list of things they liked about working in the office.  

Canadian respondents also indicated that they’d be interested in regularly having a long weekend, with 87 per cent saying they be interested in test-driving a four-day work week.

“What our data also highlights is that employers may be missing an opportunity to better define the purpose of their office and how this can best enable their employees' full work ecosystems,” Caffyn-Parsons said. 

The survey was conducted between April 3-14 by Opinium Research. Results were derived using responses from 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders across 17 countries.