Over half of offices not set up to optimise creativity and productivity

An image of a gorilla applying lipstick to symbolise shallow attempts at creativityA study from Unispace claims that the majority of workplaces are not set up to enable staff to work to their best ability. The results of the poll of 3,000 office workers and 2,750 employers across Europe, found that despite 78 percent of businesses stating that their office has been set up to enable staff to be creative and productive, over half (52 percent) of employers noted that creativity and innovation among their employees increased while work from home guidance was in place. Full findings can be found in Promoting workplace creativity and productivity [registration].

This data suggests that there is a mismatch between what employers believe is a productive environment and what staff really want. For example, according to the study, 22 percent of staff who were reluctant to head back into the office felt that they were more effective in a quiet environment at home and 20 percent believed they were more productive away from their current office space due to the set-up.

Over three quarters of office workers (77 percent) said it was easier to bond with and get to know colleagues in the office. This suggests that workers need separate spaces for individual work and in-person collaboration to be truly productive, with 74 percent of office workers indicating they are keen to see this separation.

“Following the pandemic, with new habits and preferences having been formed, employers now have the opportunity to re-assess how their staff most effectively utilise workspaces and how people can best be equipped to be productive when working both in and out of the office”, claims Matthew Zych, Regional Director, Central Europe at Unispace. What we have found in this research is that the majority of employers have not yet recognised that staff felt more productive when working from home, because they had access to an environment they found more suitable for completing different types of work throughout the day.

“The modern workplace needs to strike a balance between enabling collaboration and individual work. That includes having separate breakout areas for group socialisation and spaces for focus work, private conversations and meetings.”