Almost half of UK workers are dissatisfied with many areas in their working environment.


New research by Steelcase has found that UK workers are amongst the least satisfied with their office ambience. The study of 12,000 workers across 17 countries, found that a third (33%) don’t like their working environment and are suffering from a lack of control to manage it.

From the research, it found that 45% of UK workers are dissatisfied with the room temperature at work and 34% are unhappy with the light intensity. Only 39% are able to adjust the office temperature whilst a mere 21% can alter the lighting.

It’s been known for a while that working environments have a direct impact on productivity levels. The report revealed that the lack of control in the physical environment has a correlation with a lack of engagement; affecting the concentration and productivity of workers overall. In contrast, highly engaged employees were those who had more control and flexibility.

Lack of control in the working environment is impacting staff and the situation is likely to be influenced by the country’s dominance of open-plan design. 49% of workers are in these spaces due to cost-saving benefits, however, it is limiting an individual’s control and therefore engagement.

Christine Congdon, director of Global Research Communication and editor of 360 Magazine at Steelcase, commented: “Our research has consistently shown that the most engaged workers are those who have autonomy over how and where they work, whether adjusting the temperature, lighting, or workspace to suit their needs. When people feel like they have choice and control over various aspects of their physical work environment, it leads to greater satisfaction overall.

“Everybody is different and personal preference will depend on an individual’s natural physiology, their mood on a particular day and the task they are working on. To cater to these constantly changing needs, employers should pay more attention to providing a range of working environments, including the ability to adjust workspace basics as required.”