Half of office workers are unproductive due to poor workspace

Half of workers say having access to a variety of different spaces to work and relax in would have the biggest impact on improving their productivity.

A survey by office design specialists Dale Office Interiors reveals that the key to getting the most productivity out of staff in the workplace is to provide varied spaces to work and relax in.

The Sheffield-based company asked 500 members of the public what aspect of office design would improve their productivity levels at work the most. Nearly half (48 per cent) say that having access to a variety of different spaces to work and relax in would have the biggest impact on improving their productivity.

The study reveals that as well as having space to relax in at work (the option chosen by 20 per cent of participants), this should be balanced with varied spaces throughout the office, including private, quiet areas to work (17 per cent) and access to a games room (11 per cent).

These diverse spaces should be serviced by effective technology, such as fast Wi-Fi, wireless charging and access to collaboration tools across a range of workspaces. Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of people agree that better technology would improve their productivity at work.

Related: How to create a more productive working environment as a small business

Warren Bricknell, managing director of Dale Office Interiors, comments, ‘The results of the survey were not that surprising to us; we’ve seen a shift in what employees expect in terms of workplace design. There has definitely been an increase in demand for a greater variety of space to work and relax in within an office. It’s about what matters to them. The C-suites are getting it more and more because this is where the business case is having to be made, balancing the investment in the space versus the size of pay packets. It much more about the whole employee compensation package now.’

He continues, ‘Flexible, dynamic office design won’t work unless the basics are in place though and as our experience and research has revealed, the demand for better technology, a tidy office and better welfare amenities (such as kitchen and washroom areas) all play a basic and crucial role in creating an office space which motivates and inspires all staff. The often referenced creative office designs seen at companies such as Facebook and Google have been a massive influence. However, the evidence is out there covering the fact that ‘degooglefication’ of workspaces is increasing. The most important thing an employer can do to motivate and inspire their teams is to move away from the prescribed ‘one desk to one person’ set-up. It’s about users of the space having choice, or user-customisation of the workspace.’

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