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Almost half of UK employees dislike their working environment

  • 7 Jul 2015

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) has released new figures highlighting that 47% of UK employees want upgrades to the properties they work in.

Recruiting employees

For recruitment, the issue of unsatisfactory workplaces is shown to be a key factor, given that 89% of employees which work indoors say that the property plays a major role in whether they accept a job offer – with only pay and people being more influential – outranking progression opportunities, company culture and benefits.

Retaining staff

RICS research also suggests that high-quality workplace facilities play a role in retaining key members of staff. Eight percent of the survey respondents answered that their workspace has a bearing on whether or not they will stay in their current job, whilst a further 88% said it had an impact on overall job satisfaction.

RICS Director of UK Commercial Property Paul Bagust commented: With numerous industries currently fighting a war for talent, capable staff and skilled new joiners are like gold-dust for many companies. On that basis, businesses should be doing everything possible to recruit and retain the best people.

Its disappointing, therefore, that many employers seem to be under-estimating – or perhaps not realising – the power of property in motivating, attracting and keeping staff. A well-constructed, designed and utilised office or workplace can pay huge dividends for the business that inhabits it.

Guy Stallard, Head of Facilities at KPMG, added: The role of the physical workplace in employment is imperative to staff recruitment, motivation and retention. These findings reinforce the fact that, surprisingly, many companies are still not doing enough to improve their employees surroundings despite demand.

While pay is of paramount importance – and our fight to implement the Living Wage nationally continues – clean, comfortable and inspiring spaces make for more engaged employees in an environment where flexible working is becoming the norm, adding to the overall value of a company.

Desirable workspaces

The research also revealed the 10 most desirable traits sought after in a workspace:

  1. Lots of natural light (63%)
  2. Good heating / ventilation (62%)
  3. Regular cleaning (52%)
  4. Good kitchen facilities (44%)
  5. Good security (38%)
  6. A cafŽ/bar/restaurant on site (31%)
  7. Space to work away from desk (26%)
  8. A gym on site (15%)
  9. Good colour scheme (13%)
  10. High ceilings (13%)

The office of the future

The businesses of the future will need less office space but it will need to be able to offer flexible use, especially to facilitate meetings and collaboration in a virtual world.

Grant Kanik, founder partner at Wheelerkanik, spoke recently at the Clerkenwell Design Week, about how the Millennial Generation (the young people born after 1985) will dominate the workforce and are demanding a different interior workplace design that enhances collaboration, communication and inspiration, creating a more productive environment.

Technology is blurring the distinction between home and office as Millennials use both environments as workspaces. Interior office design needs to provide quirky, informal and attractive spaces if companies want t to attract and retain entrepreneurial creative talent.

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