Leesman, a private company that collects workplace data, has conducted some research into what makes for a productive workforce. From over 100,000 responses across 904 UK locations, the results might help you put a productivity value on your case for continuous improvement.
So, how engaged are our workers? Here are some quick out-takes from the survey.
- 49% of those who responded are disengaged, with a further 18% actively disengaged
- Engaged employees in the UK take an average of 2.69 sick days per year whilst the disengaged take 6.19
- Disengaged managers are 3 times more likely to have disengaged employees
- Engaged employees are more willing, passionate, satisfied and productive.
Many companies are becoming more creative and turning the workplace into a solution for increased productivity. Here we'll look at 8 things employees want from their workplace, some of which you may be able to incorporate into yours.
1. A functional desk
Adopting the principles of 5S to promote a functional desk space is not new - sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain.
2. A comfortable chair
Given the amount of time most office workers spend in their chair, it makes sense that a comfy chair is high on an employees agenda. Unsuitable seating can lead to poor posture, back pain, upper limb disorders and ultimately sick days. It is an employers duty of care to ensure staff have appropriate seating and according to the survey, 73% of want to be comfy.
3. Tea, coffee and other refreshment facilities
85% of employees want this in their workplace. Whether you provide this within an existing kitchen area or design a new communal area, consideration should be given to how to maintain the functionality and cleanliness of this space. Many companies are investing in whats known as bespoke recycling stations or recycling solutions.
Cleanliness is not only a nice to have but in many areas, such as food production, a must have. The risk of contamination is a major concern across all industries and companies are seeking new ways to make hygiene at work easy and cost-effective.
5. Natural light
3 out of 4 employees want this plus several studies have correlated low productivity with low sun exposure.
6. Restaurant or canteen
More than 60% of respondents to the survey would like a restaurant or canteen at work. Understandably, some workplaces are limited to space, but where companies have space and capacity to provide this service then this may lead to a more productive workforce. Large or small, ensure to adhere to the principle of 5S to maintain other key needs such as cleanliness.
7. Personal storage
More than half of those surveyed would like somewhere to store personal items. This makes sense as it also plays a key part in the provision of a functional desk and a clean (and tidy) place of work - all of which help improve productivity.
So, based on the findings of the survey, the workspace can have a direct impact on productivity. It's now up to you to review your own workspace and understand which, if any, of the above areas, can be adopted.