ResearchWhat’s curbing UK productivity? Dated office design – says new survey

Workplace productivity is being impeded as a direct result of dated office design, according to the Meeting Expectations report, released by K2 Space.
Content Team5 years ago7 min

A survey of 1,000 GB-based office workers undertaken by YouGov for K2 Space – a London based office design & fit out business – has revealed that 30 per cent of workers believe their office is outdated, uninspiring and in need of a complete refurbishment – and crucially, one in five (21%) said that if their office was better designed they would be more productive at work.

What office workers really need

When respondents were asked what could be done to improve their current office space, 32 per cent would like more access to natural light: 19 per cent said the lighting in their office is poor and has a negative effect on their mood and productivity.

30% of GB office workers think their office is dated & uninspiring


31% of all respondents would like to see more colour, artwork, and graphics utilised to enliven their workspace, a fifth of respondents would like the inclusion of sit-stand desks, and the same number of workers also believe having access to/improved showering and washing facilities would improve their office.

Healthy Office

A consistent theme throughout the research was a desire amongst office workers for more informal spaces for working and collaborating, and also private spaces for concentrating and taking telephone calls; 30 per cent agree the introduction of such spaces would improve their office, while 31 per cent believe it would improve the quality of meetings specifically. A further 35% of respondents agree the traditional boardroom is outdated and has had its day.

Employees need a better variety of spaces to work, meet and collaborate

Co-founder of office design and fit-out specialist K2 Space, Mark Phillips, said: “The productivity puzzle continues to perplex economists with no-one really able to identify why the UK’s levels of output are still behind rates achieved prior to the 2008 financial crisis. Our research highlights the fact that while office design can be incredibly subjective, the real goal is to create a space that attracts and retains talented staff. Organisations should be actively looking at ways of offering collaborative, shared working zones that encourage movement around the office to allow staff to remain both physically and mentally active.”

Healthy Meeting Room

Millennial preferences

A recurring theme throughout the research is that Millennials* are generally the least content with their current workplace, and therefore most in favour of change. Boomers on the whole, are most content:

  • Almost half (48%) of respondents agreed that the room where they were interviewed for a job would influence their opinion of whether or not to work for an organisation – this was particularly high amongst Millennials, at 54%.
  • 36% of Millennials would like private spaces for taking calls, compared with 24% of Boomers
  • 27% of Millennials would like sit-stand desks, compared with 10% of Boomers

The research also revealed that when it comes to meetings, Millennials are less engaged on the whole:

  • 35% of Millennials have texted friends or family during a meeting, compared with just 10% of Boomers
  • 28% of Millennials have used their personal social media accounts during a meeting, compared with just 5% of Boomers, and
  • 30% of Millennials have browsed the internet for personal reasons (including shopping), compared with only 5% of Boomers


Phillips continued: “What is evident from our research is that by and large, Millennials lack the spaces and resources to carry out their jobs effectively. By failing to meet the demands of this modern, digital-native workforce, employers risk missing out on the top talent.”

Enjoyed this article? Find more great articles on productivity here

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

Unite says: ‘1000s of workers are being denied toilet dignity’ in the workplace
Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /www/wp-content/themes/newstar/views/prev_next.php on line 34
Wood and Wellness Conference: the positive impacts of exposure to natural products

Subscribe to our newsletter