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21 October 2018
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do not have spaces that promote collaboration or provide chill-out areas for staff
Offices often do not have spaces that promote collaboration or provide chill-out areas for staff

31 October 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

Britain’s workspaces lack distinct, tailor-made areas that could enable employees -  particularly introverts - to work more effectively, new research suggests.

A survey of 1,456 British office workers by UK office search engine company, Office Genie, revealed the majority of workplaces do not have areas that aid lone-working (67 per cent), offer privacy (54 per cent), or opportunities for quiet work (58 cent). 

They also do not have spaces that promote collaboration (45 per cent) or provide chill-out areas for staff (74 per cent). 

Respondents were asked if their workplace allows them to carry out their work comfortably and 20 per cent stated it does not. Worryingly, of that number, 70 per cent claim it affects their desire to come to work. In terms of improved wellbeing and productivity, chill-out areas, quiet areas, and private spaces are top of workers’ lists. 

The findings showed quiet areas and private spaces would be of particular benefit to introverts in the office. Nearly a third (30 per cent) of those identifying as introverts believe a quiet area would help with their wellbeing, compared to 22 per cent of extroverts. Introverts believe private work stations would provide a boost to productivity: 24 per cent, compared to 17 per cent of extroverts. A large percentage of the workforce identify as introverts (41 per cent). 

Gareth Jones, of office furniture manufacturer Kit Out My Office, said: “Office workers will often spend a large amount of time sat at a desk or in meeting rooms, so it is important that these spaces are designed in a way that the employees like.

“I am not just talking about making a room look prettier, I’m also talking about improving the functionality to cater for everyone’s needs. For example, if you have staff members that want quiet spaces to make phone calls, why not designate a room or perhaps divide a room by creating multiple snugs for people to take their calls privately, without other people listening in. “In addition to the above, there’s also a strong argument for having breakaway areas for people to have discussions with colleagues. Don’t think of traditional meeting rooms, think of spaces of relaxation by incorporating sofas or armchairs. They are excellent places for relieving stress or making a meeting feel less formal.”