Scope for Glasgow office designers to do more to improve worker productivity

08 July 2016

A survey released by international real estate advisor Savills and the British Council for Offices (BCO) has revealed that 66% of workers in Glasgow value the interior layout and design of the workplace as important, the highest number recorded in the UK along with Edinburgh. However, only 19% of employees in Glasgow feel that the layout and design of their current workplace increased their productivity.

The What Workers Want poll of 1,132 office workers across the UK investigates the factors that are important to employees in the workplace, and how much they believe that their current environment satisfies those requirements.

Glasgow workers also valued the cleanliness of the office more highly than anywhere else in the UK, with 86% citing it as the most important feature of their working lives, along with workers in Edinburgh. Additionally, although not ranked as a top 10 most important factor, Glasgow had the highest percentage of workers who believe it is important to have a crèche in the workplace, at 19%, and the highest number, at 50%, of workers who want access to a variety of local retail and leisure facilities.

David Cobban, director in the business space team in Savills Scotland, says: “This survey successfully outlines what workers really want from their workplace and highlights the importance of  thoughtful office design.  We are working with a number of office occupiers who are moving away from the notion that ‘one size fits all’ in terms of what  workers want from their fit-out and this mirrors the results of the survey. Fit-out design needs to be sympathetic to the wishes of the employees in building if it is to be credited with improving productivity.”

According to What Workers Want, there seems to be a significant mismatch between what Glasgow office workers deem important and current levels of satisfaction. By comparing these, it is possible to identify the size of the ‘frustration factor’ and thereby what organisations need to address in order to attract and retain staff.

Steve Lang, director in Savills research and author of the report, adds:  “That 66% of Glasgow workers think that the design and layout of their office is important, but that only 19% feel their current office design helps productivity, should be a wake up call to employers. The frustration levels reported show that if organisations don’t get the basic office design and infrastructure right it can be a major drain on productivity and risk frustrating and alienating the workforce.”

Bill Ritchie, incoming Chairman of the Scottish Chapter of the BCO, comments:"What Workers Want is a very important piece of research as it allows both office developers and employers to fully understand what their employees actually need. This in turn could significantly help with attracting and retaining staff. Our survey of Glasgow employees has thrown up some fascinating insights, such as the fact that Glasgow workers are the least likely in the UK to feel that the layout and design of their current workspace helps productivity. This finding in particular should certainly inform building designers and employers going forward - if current layouts are not working, businesses need to rethink them. Glasgow workers also voiced a clear demand for workplace crèches and access to retail facilities.

"Another clear finding, which has featured heavily throughout the UK, is a dissatisfaction with the availability of quiet spaces to work. Glaswegian workers have made their views clear - and businesses now need to use these findings to make positive change."

Top 10 factors Glasgow office workers are most dissatisfied with

Top 10 factors most important to Glasgow office workers


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