Different types of workplace setup increases office productivity

A greater variety of workplace settings is deemed more important to enable productivity in the workplace, according to research.

Leesman Index has been conducting a workplace satisfaction survey which has been operating for five years. It has now been completed by more than 120,000 people.

As well as other factors – including length of time working at an organisation, age, and the importance of different activities in the workplace – the survey breaks down survey respondents into the different types of settings in which they work: private or shared enclosed offices; cubicle or designated desk in an open plan area; flexible working with a limited choice of working options; and flexible working with a high choice of working options (which also includes working from home or in co-working spaces).

When asked if their workplace enables them to work productively, 60 per cent of those working in a private or shared enclosed office agreed with that statement. Just 35 per cent of those flexible working with limited choice said the same.

However, 85 per cent of those able to choose their work space agreed that their flexibility enables them to work productively.

Tim Oldman, CEO of Leesman Index, stressed that offering an employee the choice was the key differentiator in workplace satisfaction. Oldman said: “Delivering an infrastructure that enables people to choose the workspace setting best suited to their task would appear to be the outstanding difference to those who are merely told that they don’t have an allocated workstation.”

Oldman also noted the dissatisfaction of workplace settings as hot-desking, but emphasised that it is not the dissatisfaction of the setting, but how workplaces are ‘poorly designed and poorly executed’.

The survey found similar results for a) how enjoyable the working environment is, and b) whether the workplace contributes to a sense of community at work.

Leesman Index respondents come from more than 1,000 workplaces. The survey asks which workplace features they see as important, and how well each workplace activity is supported.

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