Cramped office conditions lead to workplace stress

Almost
a quarter of office workers are dissatisfied with their workspace, according to
a new report by the Industrial Society.

The
report claims that the state of the workplace can determine performance and
productivity with heating, cooling, noise and ventilation affecting staff
physically and psychologically.

Despite
improvements by some firms who offer gyms and chillout areas, the space offered
to staff is still largely dependent on rank and status. Private offices are the
preserve of senior staff with the majority of people working in an open plan
area.

Employees
have little influence on the design of their own workspace, despite the impact
it can have on their health and performance at work. Poor space design can also
discourage communication between colleagues with conflict often a result of
badly designed workspace.

Max
Nathan, author of the report, says the situation is expensive for employers:
"Workspace which makes its users unhappy or uncomfortable is
counterproductive. But there is another and less obvious cost. The time,
energy, effort and creativity that the workforce spends avoiding their places
of work or modifying them to something that fits their needs, is time that is
not being spent on their jobs," he said.

www.indsoc.co.uk

By Ross Wigham

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