October 14, 2019
Following recent reports from the likes of Boss and Leesman as well as the work of Neil Usher in his book The Elemental Workplace, a new study from Workthere confirms that what people want from an office is primarily basic stuff such as comfort and privacy.
The What Coworkers Want report asked 1,874 European office workers about 48 different office features in order to determine how satisfied they are with them and identify the areas offices should look to improve to provide an overall happier place to work and offer what people want from an office.
The five office features that have the biggest satisfaction gap (the difference between the importance of this feature and the level of satisfaction), are as follows:
- Air quality: satisfaction gap of 28 percent
Topping the list is good air quality with 80 percent of coworkers deeming it an important factor of an office space. However, just over half (52 percent) of respondents said they were happy with the level of air quality in their workspace, making this the office feature with the biggest satisfaction gap, of 28 percent.
- Noise levels: satisfaction gap of 25 percent
Nearly eight in ten (78 percent) office workers claimed office noise, without a lot of talking or loud music playing, as an important aspect of an office. However, just over half (53 percent) of respondents said they were satisfied with the levels of noise at their workplace, meaning noise levels have a large satisfaction gap of 25 percent.
- Temperature: satisfaction gap of 23 percent
Over three quarters (78 percent) of coworkers think that an acceptable office temperature is important to them, but just over half (55 percent) are happy with the current temperature in their office, leaving a sizeable satisfaction gap of 23 percent.
- Quiet rooms: satisfaction gap of 22 percent
Three quarters (76 percent) of workers believe that access to a quiet room is important to them at work, but only half (54 percent) are satisfied with their current quiet room offering, leaving a 22 percent satisfaction gap.
- Comfortable workspaces: satisfaction gap of 21 percent
A comfortable workspace can positively impact wellbeing and productivity at work, and 82 percent of coworkers said a comfortable workspace was important to them in an office. However, only 61 percent of respondents agreed that they are satisfied with their current work area, leaving a considerable satisfaction gap of 21 percent.
Commenting on the findings, Jessica Alderson, global research analyst at Workthere, says: “Whilst the majority of coworkers seem to be happy with their current work space, there are some quick and effective changes that providers can make to improve this further and increase overall satisfaction levels. Given the growing competition in the current market, being comfortable and happy within the workplace can be a deal breaker for those businesses occupying flexible workspace, so it is increasingly important to get these fundamentals right.”