Designed to Work?

More employees and managers may be working from home, but those who still turn up at an office believe the right working environment is more important than ever. Too often, it seems, workers are unhappy with their surroundings and managers are ashamed to invite clients or suppliers back to the office.
A recent Workplace Satisfaction survey by Britain’s Management Today magazine discovered an alarming majority of workers and managers were dissatisfied with their office environment. They found that British managers had “an unfulfilled yearning for superior working accommodation” and that they were ready, willing and able to make big sacrifices to get it.
According to MT’s story, many managers would accept salary or benefit cuts or sacrifice week’s annual leave in exchange for an upgraded work space.
Office environment is moving rapidly from the margins of management to become central issue in recruiting, retaining and motivating good people. On the other side of the ledger, the majority felt the importance of good environment was not well understood at top level and individuals’ needs and preferences were seldom taken into account.
What most managers wanted were workplaces that were better designed for their needs. At the top of their wish list was provision for relaxation and thinking spaces (56 percent). More than half wanted break-out areas that offer an escape from the pressures of the desk.
Managers wanted easy access to gym facilities (53 percent), restaurant (41 percent), childcare/eldercare facilities (27 percent) and shower (27 percent). Another 12 percent wanted place for cultural activity.
The survey found major discrepancies between what managers want and what is delivered. For instance, 85 percent of respondents think the workplace is key indicator of company’s corporate culture and yet 47 percent were proud to bring clients or contacts back to their place of work. And 94 percent of respondents thought the quality of the workplace reflects employers’ attitudes to them and yet only 39 percent think their place of work has been designed with people in mind.
Office buildings are becoming more like hotels – more individual, more comfortable, with more personality and greater focus on work/life balance. “It’s the factory farming versus free range argument,” said one developer.

Visited 5 times, 1 visit(s) today
Close Search Window