Office spaces are all pretty much alike, right? Not according to your employees. Half of all workers in the UK say that their workplace actually interferes with and slows down their productivity. And when you consider how much even a 1% increase in productivity could mean to your bottom line, it’s well worth thinking about what impact the work environment may be having on your staff’s ability to produce results.
The Stoddart Review, an independent, not-for-profit initiative that aims to raise awareness of the effect of the workplace on business performance, recently released a report that was featured in the Sunday Times. The study is the source for the figure that only half of British employees feel that their workplace enables them to work to their best potential. And for the other half of workers? Their engagement in their jobs, their pride in their organisation and their drive to perform well can be significantly eroded. (To download a copy of the full report, click here).
So what does this mean in real terms? The Stoddart Review says that companies who will best overcome this issue are the ones that see the physical work place as a driver of revenues, and not just as another overhead cost/capital expenditure. If making some changes could lead to increasing productivity by 1 – 3.5%, as the study concludes, that could add as much as £70 billion to the UK economy. What’s more, for companies who are making proactive efforts to address workplace improvements, the percentage of employees who say the workplace helps them be more productive shoots up to 86%. That strongly suggests that an investment in re-thinking your office space could pay for itself very quickly.
Many improvements that could make employees happier, more engaged and more productive are fairly straightforward. Workers indicate that having “break-out areas” for informal meetings, or quiet time, would help them be more productive. Other wish-list items include more personal storage space, a greater sense of privacy and a quieter environment. For all the popularity of the “open-plan” work space in recent years, it seems clear that for all its benefits, an open office set-up can also be full of noise and distraction. When you consider the 2013 study that showed on average, it takes someone 23 minutes to regain their momentum, once their concentration has been broken, it starts to become clear how the workplace environment can have a real effect on your productivity – as well as your revenues.
If your office space isn’t boosting your productivity, call us on 0800 279 2505 or send us an enquiry on our website. We can provide you with workplace consultancy and utilisation audits to help inform your key workplace decisions.