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Hybrid work

Office peacocking: an attempt to bring employees back into the office


May 16, 2024


May 16, 2024

Are you improving your workplace layout and facilities to make your office more appealing? This is called office peacocking, and you’re not the only one doing it. Many companies are currently redesigning their workspaces to convince team members that the physical office has more to offer than working from home. It is part of the return-to-work strategy many businesses have been trying to implement now that the pandemic is over. As most workers reject the idea of going back on-site daily, leveraging the workplace setup, resources, amenities, and experience can play a key role in bringing employees back into the office. From biophilic design to ergonomic furniture and artsy lounge areas, organizations have plenty of options to show off their assets and catch the eye of their workforce. But will it be enough to stop the return-to-office backlash? Keep reading to get detailed insights about this topic in the following lines!

What is office peacocking?

The concept of office peacocking has a double meaning. Here are clear explanations of both and their implications in the world of work.

The new trend to get employees back into the office

Office peacocking involves employers enhancing the workplace with attractive features and amenities to bring employees back to the office as Return-To-Office (RTO) mandates come into play. Much like a peacock displaying its feathers to catch attention, companies decorate and upgrade their physical environments to stand out and appeal to the workforce. This could include redesigning spaces to foster collaboration, offering healthy food options, implementing state-of-the-art technologies, or providing wellness facilities. The goal is to counter the convenience and comfort of remote work and make the office a place that people want to visit more often, encouraging more frequent in-person collaboration and team cohesion.

The art of showing off

Often compared to the coffee-badging trend, office peacocking can also refer to employees deliberately choosing to work on-site rather than from home to make themselves more visible to their superiors and teammates. By being physically present, they aim to showcase their dedication, work ethic, and professional attire, much like a peacock displays its colorful feathers. The idea is that their noticeable presence and apparent commitment may give them an edge over remote colleagues when it comes to recognition, opportunities for collaboration, and career advancement. It results from the belief that out of sight can mean out of mind, which prompts these employees to use visibility as a strategy to accelerate their promotion within the company.

Important note: This article only focuses on the first type of office peacocking

👉 Learn more about the impact of office layout on productivity and other key aspects!

People socialising in open concept office
Employees coming to the office

What motivates businesses to try office peacocking?

Minimizing the return to office backlash

Over the last couple of years, people have discovered and embraced the benefits of working from home, which makes it hard to give up. Office peacocking is a way for companies to address the return-to-office backlash. By enhancing the workplace with perks and aesthetically pleasing environments, you can make your office more inviting and minimize resistance from your employees who prefer remote work. These efforts can, therefore, help you smooth the transition back to in-person work settings and foster a more enjoyable organizational culture.

Answering the rising demand for more employee-centricity

In an era when the modern workforce prioritizes well-being and human connections, companies that practice office peacocking tend to meet these expectations at the same time. By investing in wellness programs, fostering team bonding, and enhancing comfort and ergonomics, businesses create an appealing work environment. This strategy not only draws people back on-site but also aligns with contemporary demands for a more employee-centric approach to work and a supportive, engaging organizational culture.

Creating a physical workplace that is more appealing than your competitors’ offices

Office peacocking can also be a key advantage to outshine competitors by curating an attractive workspace that goes beyond the norm. By integrating cutting-edge design, superior amenities, and a focus on employee experience, they position themselves distinctively in the job market. This strategic appeal not only retains talent and boosts their satisfaction but also draws new candidates seeking a vibrant and supportive office culture.

Enjoying the rippling effects of having a people-focused work environment

Office peacocking is initially designed to attract people back into the office. Yet, it automatically yields beneficial ripple effects for companies. For example, having more people-centric and ergonomic practices fosters higher employee satisfaction, greater productivity, and a healthier workforce. These outcomes result from the enhanced work environment that prioritizes employee well-being and experience. Ultimately, it creates a positive feedback loop that reinforces corporate culture and contributes to the organization’s success.

🤩 Do you want to show your staff that you consider their needs? Discover the “assigned desks” feature and make your work environment even more employee-centric!

How can office peacocking entice your employees to return to the office?

Creating offices that match hybrid employees’ expectations

From a worker’s point of view, office peacocking is great as it pushes organizations to listen to their employees’ needs and meet them. It encourages companies to reimagine layouts and designs with the workforce’s interests at heart. To entice staff back into the office, you must align the workspace with evolving expectations, ensuring it complements the hybrid work model. This results in office spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also foster a more engaging and supportive environment. For your workforce, this can definitely make the return on-site more appealing and worthwhile.

Designing work environments that are more enjoyable than working from home

The office peacocking trend is great for employees as it pressures organizations to create office setups that exceed the comfort and other perks of home offices. To do so, you must offer compelling reasons for your staff to commute, like reshaping workspaces into areas that blend enjoyment with functionality. This competition with the convenience of home results in the development of workplaces that draw people back while enriching their daily work life with better amenities and resources.

Answering the rising request for more human connections

One of the main reasons employees don’t want to be fully remote is because they lose the opportunity to go on-site and meet their colleagues in person. As a company, you can focus on this aspect to make them want to work in person more often and comply with your new RTO policy. So, in an effort to draw people away from the isolation of home offices, you can rethink your work environments to foster collaborative interactions, social engagements, and a sense of community. This focus on relationship-building spaces ultimately enriches the work experience by promoting a supportive and interconnected office culture that workers crave.

💜 Learn more about the importance of belonging in the workplace

High end office space
High end office space

Is office peacocking enough to get your team in the office more often?

The answer is a clear no. It definitely plays a huge role, but it is not enough. Employees got used to the flexibility and freedom that remote work provides, valuing the saved commute time and the better work-life balance it offers. This fundamental shift in work preferences means that superficial changes to office aesthetics and perks do not address deeper needs for purposeful work, autonomy, and personal growth.

Some of the main reasons why employees would be more eager to comply with RTO mandates include:

  • employers covering the cost of commuting (38%);
  • the opportunity to have more privacy in the office (34%);
  • the ability to know who is working from the office that day (33%);
  • the chance to meet work friends more often (28%).

Furthermore, the prolonged experience of remote work has led to employees placing greater emphasis on core factors like company culture, inclusion, trust, and the opportunity to engage in rewarding work that aligns with their values. For many, these aspects are more critical than physical workspace enhancements.

Yet, the reasons why your workforce prefers to work from home are unique and personal to each staff member. As usual, the best way to get them back on-site is to understand what they are missing when coming to the office and how to provide it.

How can you enhance your work environment to make your hybrid team come on-site more often? 

Focus on genuine improvements instead of fake feathers and colors

Office peacocking is a great way to upgrade the physical workplace and create a more enjoyable and people-centric work environment, and it is a crucial step in making your workforce thrive, too. Yet, prioritizing enhancements that respond to employee desires to return to the office is also paramount. This means going beyond mere aesthetics to make substantial changes that address key concerns, such as ergonomic comfort, health and safety measures, and technology that facilitates seamless hybrid work. By making real, impactful improvements that matter to your team members, you can foster a workplace where people genuinely want to be, not just one that looks inviting.

Adopt an employee-centric approach to make a real difference

Adopting a people-centric approach is crucial when trying to convince a hybrid team to come to the office more often. By understanding and incorporating your employees’ feedback into office design and policies, you can ensure the workspace meets their actual needs and preferences. For example, this can involve offering quiet zones for focused work, providing soundproof phone booths for privacy, creating lounge areas for socializing, and implementing flexible scheduling options. Enhancing these aspects demonstrates a commitment to their well-being and professional requirements and makes the office a more attractive place to work.

Check out our nine recommendations to make the office more attractive

We’ve just published an article about ways to make the office more attractive, so we are not going to develop in detail how to enhance your work environment here. But let us give you a quick summary of the most important aspects to consider:

  1. Workspaces’ diversity.
  2. Collaboration and socialization areas.
  3. Ergonomic furniture.
  4. Biophilic office design and colors.
  5. Pets in the workplace.
  6. Office events.
  7. Cleanliness.
  8. Scheduling conflict solutions.
  9. Hybrid workplace technology.

How does deskbird support the hybrid workplace experience for employees?

Providing employees with a clear visibility of who is in the office and when

As highlighted earlier, 33% of employees go to the office because their companies provide them with a solution to see who from their workmates is going to be on-site and when. Well, the deskbird app enables you to give this clarity to your team (and much more!). It allows users to view their colleagues’ timetables and schedule their workdays in the office accordingly. This feature is crucial, as it allows for better in-person collaboration and ensures that commutes are planned around key interactions and meetings.

🎬 Watch this less than two-minute video about the features of the deskbird app to learn more about our mission and how we can support your hybrid work environment!

Colleagues working from the office
Colleagues working from the office

Making every commute count

deskbird is an essential tool for making every commute worth it for your staff by aligning their office presence with their team’s schedule. Through the app’s intuitive interface, employees can efficiently plan their in-office days, book their preferred workspaces, and coordinate in-person interactions with colleagues. This ability to synchronize work life ensures that each trip to the office maximizes productivity and social engagement. Thereby, it enhances the value of time spent away from home and makes commutes more purposeful and rewarding.

Reducing scheduling conflicts

Our app is also a vital solution for preventing scheduling conflicts in the workplace by enabling employees to book desks and meeting rooms in advance. Its user-friendly interface provides a real-time overview of available spaces, ensuring that resources are efficiently allocated and overlap is avoided. This feature ensures that every team member has a designated space when they come to the office. Therefore, it streamlines office logistics and minimizes the frustration that comes from double bookings or insufficient workspaces.

Office peacocking reflects a dynamic shift in workplace strategy, emphasizing the transformation of the office into a vibrant, collaborative, and people-focused environment. While aesthetically pleasing spaces are a draw, real employee engagement rises from substantive improvements that meet their evolving needs within a flexible work model. Understanding and implementing these changes can truly help you navigate the complexities of modern workforce expectations. They enable you to create an office with a surface-level appeal while designing a place where productivity, satisfaction, and innovation can bloom and where workers come back not by necessity but by choice. Start a free trial of the deskbird app and enhance your hybrid teams’ on-site experience even more by allowing your staff to harmonize their schedules, book essential resources, and maximize in-person collaborations.

Office peacocking: an attempt to bring employees back into the office

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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