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Power to the people: What Europe’s office workers really want

What Europe’s office workers really want

Power to the people: What Europe’s office workers really want

Despite the growing trend for greater flexibility in the workplace, the office still plays a prevalent role in our working lives.

With the majority of us spending an average of 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, it’s important for businesses to better understand the wants and needs of the workforce when it comes to office design.

To address this, flooring specialist Tarkett recently commissioned a survey of 2,500 European office workers, which uncovered some interesting findings as to what it is they truly want.

Environmental control

One of the key factors highlighted by the survey is that people want control over certain elements of their office environment to make it suit them.

Everyone has different working styles – some work collaboratively and others independently. Therefore, while some people may thrive in open plan settings, others might be more suited to a private office away from the main hustle and bustle.

This is mirrored in what Europe’s office workers consider to be the main issues affecting them in their current workplace, outlined as acoustics, air quality and aesthetics.

Excessive noise was highlighted by 27% of those surveyed, followed by indoor air quality, selected by 22%. Shockingly, studies have shown that indoor air can, in fact, be up to five times as polluted as outdoor air.

As well as ‘hidden’, functional issues, an office’s form also plays an important part in what affects employees. When asked to consider their preferred interior scheme, Scandinavian style came out as the top pick for 28% of people. This was closely followed by collaborative and homely – chosen by 19%.

The good news for businesses is that employees aren’t necessarily looking for a complete reinvention of the workplace. Instead, they are seeking variation that takes into account different tasks and ways of working through a combination of form and function.

Catering for all

The solution, it seems, is offering a space with multiple components to suit all manner of people and possible tasks.

Forward-thinking businesses are already responding to some of the issues raised in the research. For example, to combat excessive noise, soundproof booths can be installed to aid ‘deep work’. While open plan spaces are reserved for collaboration.

Other firms are investing in design innovations that help improve indoor air quality, through reducing fine dust particles in the atmosphere.

Ultimately, employees want to feel looked after by their employers in terms of having their needs met in a space that’s tailored to them.

The results of achieving this are plentiful. By improving health and wellbeing, and general workplace morale, the benefits not only apply to the workforce but the business too, through a positive impact on productivity levels and the overall quality of output.

To uncover more insights on what Europe’s employees want from their office space, visit The Great Indoors to view the full research report ‘Rethinking Workplace Part I’ from Tarkett:

Aztec works with Tarkett as part of our commitment to making the right choices, helping clients to achieve better environments by promoting staff health and wellbeing. We’re proud to be working with partners like Tarkett that share our values.

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