Almost a quarter of office workers are dissatisfied with their workspace,
according to a new report by the Industrial Society.
The report claims 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, which offer gyms and chill out areas, the
space available to staff is still largely dependent on rank and status. Private
offices are the preserve of senior managers and most staff work in an open-plan
Employees have little influence on the design of their own workspace,
despite the impact it can have on their health and performance. Poor space
design can also discourage communication and can often lead to unnecessary
The report author Max Nathan says the situation is expensive for employers.
"Workspace which makes its users unhappy or uncomfortable is
counterproductive. But there is another less obvious cost. The time, energy,
effort and creativity that the workforce spends avoiding or modifying their
places of work to something that fits their needs is time not spent on their
jobs," he said.