12 February 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
A study of 1,000 UK office workers by office fit-out firm Saracen suggests that three in four (76 per cent) workers find their dated or uninspiring office is having a negative impact on their productivity.
Of those surveyed, 30 per cent said the impact was high or significant, with only 12 per cent saying their dated office has little to zero impact on their effectiveness at work.
The study also suggests that this issue is a hot topic at the water-cooler, with over half (54 per cent) of respondents saying fellow co-workers have confided in them regarding the negative impact which their dated office is having on their productivity.
Beyond productivity, the study looked at how dated offices were affecting the mental well-being of employees, with over half (51 per cent) saying their uninspiring office has had a negative impact on their mental well-being.
One in five workers (20 per cent) cited a high to significant impact, 24 per cent a medium impact, and a further 25 per cent say their dated office had a small impact on their mental well-being.
As with productivity, the study suggests that the impact of a dated office on employee mental well-being is being discussed between co-workers, with more than one in three (35 per cent) saying a colleague has confided in them, saying their uninspiring office is having a negative impact on their mental well-being.
The study states that the "most alarming area of the study was focused on the impact of a dated or uninspiring office on mental health, surprisingly with over a third (37 per cent) saying their dated office had contributed to actual mental health issues".
When asked to what degree had their dated office contributed to mental health issues, over 40 per cent cited a medium to significant impact.
The study looked further into the specific issues of dated offices that were having a negative impact on employees productivity, and where improvements could be made.
When asked what would help to improve productivity, half (50 per cent) of respondents cited having more natural light as the priority.
This was followed by vibrant colours (17 per cent), open-plan designs (13 per cent), ergonomic furniture (10 per cent), breakout areas (8 per cent) and inspiring meeting rooms (3 per cent) as the most recommended solutions to dated offices and the negative impact on the employees within.
Almost three in four workers (71 per cent) said more natural light within the office would have a high to significant impact on their productivity, while about 39 per cent of respondents said the addition of ergonomic furniture, vibrant colours, open-plan designs and breakout areas would each have a high to significant impact on their productivity in the workplace.