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Jul11

Get Back To Basics, Workers Beg

Open Workspace Trend for the 21st Century

Office workers are far from convinced of the merits of recent workplace innovation trends, according to new research from the British Council for Offices.

The third edition of the BCO What Workers Want study assessed the needs of UK workers and how they might affect future office requirements. More than 1,100 UK office workers took part.

The message was clear: to satisfy employees in their workplace, office designers need to ‘get the basics right.’ 87% of workers surveyed said comfort was crucial, with 86% saying the lighting needed to be right for them and temperature affecting 85 per cent. These three, seemingly simple demands, were the most important factors governing staff wellbeing at work.

Martin Read, writing for FM World, explained that the surveyed workers said that although flexibility in where their work is conducted is welcome, working from home is becoming less appealing – a possible indicator that the structure and social aspects of office work are winning the fightback against the inherent comfort but isolation and lack of discipline of the home office. When last asked in 2013, 45 per cent of respondents said they would like to work from home; that figure is just 28 per cent in the 2016 research.

Other office requirements are shifting too. In 2013, just 41 per cent of those polled said they would prefer their own dedicated desk space – a figure that has risen to 60 per cent in the latest research. The first death knell of the hot desk, perhaps? Certainly, something to take into consideration in terms of the amount of space needed in any given office environment.

When asked what impact their office environment has on productivity levels, a quarter of survey participants said their workplace currently ‘decreased’ productivity levels. The BCO study seems to indicate a return to established office environments, after years of the office being under threat from home working practices, but a demand from workers to get the fundamentals of comfort, lighting, temperature and individual space right to ensure continued productivity.

Whatever you decide your office should look like, talk to Enaflo about getting the balance right between friendliness and innovation to deliver what your company needs

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