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29 July 2016
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UK workers less engaged than global counterparts

4 March 2016 | Jamie Harris


Research by US-based furniture company Steelcase has found that just 13 per cent of workers are highly engaged at their workplace.


Engagement And The Global Workplace highlights five ‘key findings’ linking workplace factors with overall employee engagement.


The study looked at 12,480 participants across 17 countries.


Within its research, Steelcase notes that cultural context influences its reported engagement levels. Nearly three in 10 respondents from India (28 per cent) say they are highly engaged and highly satisfied at the workplace, the highest proportion for a country in the research. Mexico (22 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (20 per cent) also report a significantly high proportion of engaged employees.


The research notes that engagement levels dip in established markets, where it says employees may have difference expectations than those in emerging economies.


France (5 per cent) reports the smallest proportion of highly engaged and highly satisfied employees, with Belgium (6 per cent) and Spain (7 per cent) also in the lower bracket. The UK reports 11 per cent in this metric, slightly under the 13 per cent global average.


Steelcase collaborated with research organisation Ipsos to measure the dimensions of employee engagement and workplace satisfaction.


The research suggests that employee engagement positively correlates with workplace satisfaction – engaged employees are the ones who have more control over experiences at work, and traditional work styles still apply to the majority worldwide; nearly two-thirds of employees say they work in either individual or shared private offices.


Respondents rated their quality of life at work a 6.6 out of 10 on average. However, it suggests that in the UK, this figure drops to 6.3 out of 10.


Almost half of offices in the UK are in open-plan configurations (more than double the global average of 23 per cent). UK workers rate their ability to concentrate in the workplace below the global average, despite saying they have sufficient access to private working spaces.


Most UK workers surveyed work with a desktop computer (77 per cent – global average 80 per cent) and landline telephone (91 per cent – global average 86 per cent), while nearly four in 10 are issued with a laptop and mobile phone.


The report can be found online at tinyurl.com/steelcaseresearch2016.