Does your firm's workplace design suit your employees?

Does your firm's workplace design suit your employees?

Does your firm's workplace design suit your employees?

When it comes to planning and maintaining your workplace, one important factor to consider is whether the space is conducive to staff productivity and efficiency.

Sometimes, simple steps - such as making sure the office is clean and tidy and has plenty of natural light - can have a big impact on employee wellbeing and engagement.

The significance of these issues was underlined by a recent study from workplace services firm Sodexo, which sought the views of 2,800 knowledge workers - people whose jobs are based on knowledge and information, such as researchers and software engineers. This is one of the UK's biggest and fastest-growing employment sectors.

Conducted in partnership with Quora Consulting, the research found that two-thirds (67 percent) of knowledge workers left their last job because the workplace was not optimised for them. Sodexo said this should serve as a wake-up call for businesses "not to put cosmetic design over substance".

More than half (51 percent) of respondents said reducing unnecessary noise would be the best way to improve their effectiveness. Having access to daylight and good lighting came a close second, with just under half of the survey participants saying this was a decisive factor.

A third (35 percent) of knowledge workers cited quiet space as another key workplace provision that would help to boost their productivity.

Another significant finding showed that more than half (53 percent) of people employed in this sector believe good nutrition and the quality of food available at work has a significant influence on staff performance.

Martin Boden, managing director of UK corporate services at Sodexo, said: "This study provides a valuable insight into the barriers affecting the productivity, engagement and retention of employees in the knowledge sector, set within the wider context of a rapidly ageing and retiring workforce, shortage of new talent and the overall need to address gender imbalances across the industry.

"The findings clearly demonstrate that seemingly simple factors are pivotal in workplace design, with noise, lighting and nutrition playing a far greater role in impacting productivity than more creative workplace solutions and office perks."

Some businesses could find that making small changes within the workspace is enough to have a big impact on morale and wellbeing across the labour force. For example, simply ensuring that office space is always clean and well-maintained will ensure that employees have a pleasant, hygienic environment in which to focus on their work.

Focusing on efficiency and green standards can also have a positive impact, showing employees that the business is aware of its corporate social responsibility obligations.

Relatively minor measures - such as making recycling bins easily available, using eco-friendly electrical appliances and having greenery around the office - will send a positive message to staff and strengthen the firm's green credentials.


Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Rawpixel