85% of working people are dissatisfied with their working environment, according to research from Knight Frank.
It’s clear that something has to change. The link between employee satisfaction and workplace affects everything from retention to the bottom line. Last month, the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health concluded that staff in offices with good ventilation and below average indoor pollution levels performed better in tests of skills such as developing strategy.
Knight Frank’s study also says the cost of replacing a member of staff is approximately £30,000. As a result, “it makes sense for companies to consider how their office can help them keep their employees,” says Linda Morey-Burrows, Principal Director of MoreySmith, speaking to HR Grapevine.
She says that natural light is hugely important in any work space, yet “more than half of the UK’s workforce have no access to it.”
Further research carried out by YouGov for Lendlease found over a third of London-based workers suffer from “sick building syndrome” as a result of poorly designed workplaces.
Morey-Burrows emphasises that, above all, it is about the people: “It is important to recognise that everyone has a different style of working and the office space needs to reflect this.
“Not everyone responds well to open plan offices and prefer a quieter, more private setting, whilst others enjoy bouncing ideas off colleagues so flourish in a bustling open plan environment. The key is acknowledging this and introducing a range of work spaces within an office, so that workers have options to choose from. Getting the right mix of spaces is crucial.
“In addition, key features that contribute to a happy office include natural light and air circulation, social areas for interaction and quiet zones for concentration and privacy.”