For years, many have predicted the death the office. Mobile technology allows us to work almost anywhere. New technologies are driving a major rethink of office interiors and office furniture design. As the world has become more complex, our places of work have never been more relevant.
Work is a social activity and people need places to come together to solve problems. The office isn’t going away - it’s in the midst of a renaissance, where workplaces are becoming something fundamentally different.
Top performing companies spend 23% more time collaborating than average companies. To aid creative thinking, problem solving and innovation, people need a balance of spaces to connect, share information and ideas and then somewhere more private to go to focus, process and understand the information.
Gensler's 2016 UK Workplace Survey found that workers were more likely to be innovative if they had access to a range of spaces supporting different working styles, including private, semi-private and open-plan environments.
At the same time, the What Workers Want survey – from real estate advisor Savills and the British Council for Offices – reported that less than two-thirds of employees were satisfied with the amount of "quiet space for focused work" provided in their workplaces.
More than a quarter of employees who responded to the What Workers Want survey felt that the current design of their workplace was making them less productive, and 53 per cent believed their productivity would increase if they could attain their ideal office environment.
Gensler's data – collected from 1,210 employees across 11 industries in the UK – indicates that staff that are seen as innovators within companies are five times more likely to have access to a private space. Meanwhile, workers at the other end of the spectrum spend 86 per cent of their time desk-bound.
"Productivity in the workplace is vital to support an efficient business and enhance the bottom line, but it is apparent that a lot of employees feel that they are hampered by the environment around them," said Steve Lang, director of Savills Research and author of the report. "There is never going to be a perfect office, but organisations must create as much choice as possible to enable employees to vary noise levels to meet their needs depending on what they're working on," he added. "There should also be a desk-based solution for minimising noise levels at certain times, beyond simply donning the ubiquitous white headphones.”
Lack of private space has been a consistent theme in workplace surveys over the last few years, with 2014 research carried out by Expert Market showing that more than half of employees prefer a private office. Gensler's 2013 US Workplace Survey found that workplace effectiveness in America had fallen by six per cent in five years as open-plan spaces became increasingly popular.
At Ace, our specialist team and their research based approach enable us to create high performance work spaces that meet your varying needs throughout the whole office. The extensive research available to us reveals how a well designed office positively impacts your bottom line, employees’ well being and task engagement whilst reducing absenteeism.
How can our specialist team at Ace help you improve transfer your office into a high performance work space?