Poor office design ‘hurts productivity’

Many employees 'embarrassed' to bring customers in

Businesses can greatly improve their staff productivity with better office design, a new report suggests.

Research from consultancy firm Gensler shows that improving work environments can boost staff morale and drive up productivity by nearly a fifth, adding up to £135 billion to firms’ bottom lines.

The study of service sector businesses reveals a fifth of workers claim they would be embarrassed to show their office to a customer. Another 58% say it has not been designed to support their firm’s business objectives, let alone their job function.

Only half rate their working environment as above average.

Business owners are failing to realise, said Gensler’s Gary Wheeler, that a comfortable working environment indirectly leads to more money in their coffers.

Poof office design, he said, is a false economy.

“The challenge for 21st Century business is to increase knowledge worker productivity without increasing working hours,” said Wheeler. “The cost of providing accommodation for office workers is dwarfed by the cost of their salaries.


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“Companies must recognise that the impact of the office on their staff in terms of increased satisfaction, productivity and effectiveness will have a much greater financial impact than the factors influencing the cost of office accommodation.”

Office design even plays a hand in recruitment, the report states. Over a third say that working environment has been a factor in accepting or rejecting a job offer, and four in five believe it matters greatly to their job satisfaction.

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