Is staff productivity impeded by a dated office design?

Written on Monday, 17 December 2018

Have you ever considered how your office design could be having a negative impact on the way your employees work?  

A new survey undertaken by YouGOV of 1,000 Britain-based office workers has revealed that 30% of employees believe their workspaces are outdated and uninspiring. 

white plastic chairs under desk

Image source: Unsplash

When respondents of the YouGOV survey were asked what could be done to improve their office, 32% said they would like more natural light, with 19% saying the lighting in their office is insufficient and has a negative effect on their mood. One in five also said if their offices were designed in a more interesting way, they would be more productive.


What workers really want from office space

With an increasing focus on employee wellness and mental health in the workplace, it’s now more important than ever for employers to create an inspiring workspace design.

Colour, artwork, graphics, sit-stand desks and improved showering or washing facilities could help achieve this. These features have been shown to improve employees overall mood, morale and productivity.

The YouGOV survey revealed the consistent theme throughout the research is a desire among staff for more informal workspaces and collaboration areas, alongside private, quiet zones for concentrating and taking phone calls.

 Other findings:

  • 31% think their meeting rooms are dull and uninspiring
  • 27% avoid making phone calls outside of a private space if they know people around them can hear their conversation
  • 21% have been let down by technology while attending a virtual meeting
  • 12% would be willing to take a 5% pay reduction for the ability to work from home more frequently
  • 10% have fallen asleep in a meeting 

Recent research from Mace Macro has shown that on average, employees in the UK lose two hours every week due to distractions in the workplace and poor design elements. There's a clear desire from staff for a place that allows them to work efficiently without barriers to their productivity.

As work environments continue to evolve, professional designers are being tasked with creating spaces that meet, and exceed, both employee and business needs. They can offer imaginative suggestions to help businesses utilise dead space, such as creating small booths ideal for taking private calls or undertaking independent tasks.  

Designers should also be able to advise companies on how to best position desks for maximum functionality and to capture natural daylight, while creating an environment that truly works for their staff. 

There are lots of simple changes you can make to your working environment that can have a positive impact on the productivity of your staff, but hiring a professional may allow you to get the best out of what you have. For more inspiration, find out 16 ways to boost office productivity.


industry insights, workplace design, office interior, office design, productivity

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