Office design key to retaining staff

Poor office design and layout is causing high staff turnover and lower profits, according to a recent survey that suggests that almost a third of employees would leave a job because of the physical environment.

Furthermore, the poll, conducted by Wates Interiors, revealed that a quarter of those surveyed would turn down a job in a business due to dissatisfaction with the layout of the workplace. So, not only could companies be losing valuable staff, they could be struggling to recruit decent replacements. With the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development estimating the total cost of replacing an employee is half of their salary, there could be thousands of pounds being wasted every year.

The most common problems were:

  • Noise – 40 per cent of people cite this as having the most negative impact on their ability to do a job (new legislation came in on 6 April – see our news article Noise regulations now in force)
  • Extremes of temperature – 33 per cent of people say being too hot or cold is the biggest impediment to working
  • Insufficient space – 16 per cent claim this has the most adverse effect on their labours
  • Uncomfortable furniture – 15 per cent of people believe not being able to sit comfortably is the single biggest obstacle to productivity

Conversely, more than a third are big fans of natural light, saying having nearby windows improves their working environment significantly.

‘With 34 per cent of people spending more time in the office today than they did three years ago, getting the work environment right is a priority,” says Dean Manning, managing director of Wates Interiors. ‘A well designed and ergonomic office has a beneficial effect on staff morale and profitability and this survey shows just how dramatic that effect can be.’

Also see: Office Design Trends – An office interior specialist speaks to designers, trendsetters and industry experts about creating pleasant and productive workplaces.

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