How businesses can keep employees happy as they return to work
Research from Workthere has revealed five top tips to keep employees happy at work. Workthere’s 'What Co-workers Want' report found that 59% of coworkers in the UK say they are happy with their current workplace, but what can providers do to improve happiness within their offices? Workthere asked 1,874 European office workers about 48 different office features in order to determine how satisfied they are with them and identify the areas offices should look to improve to provide an overall happier place to work.
The five office features that have the biggest satisfaction gap (the difference between the importance of this feature and the level of satisfaction), are as follows:
1) Air quality: satisfaction gap of 28%
Topping the list is good air quality with 80% of coworkers deeming it an important factor of an office space. However, just over half (52%) of respondents said they were happy with the level of air quality in their workspace, making this the office feature with the biggest satisfaction gap, of 28%.
So, what can you do to improve air quality within an office? Some easy things to look for are checking that air vents are open and unblocked and your air filters are replaced regularly to help improve air quality.
2) Noise levels: satisfaction gap of 25%
Nearly eight in ten (78%) office workers claimed office noise, without a lot of talking or loud music playing, as an important aspect of an office. However, just over half (53%) of respondents said they were satisfied with the levels of noise at their workplace, meaning noise levels have a large satisfaction gap of 25%.
Limiting music levels and introducing specific breakout rooms for people to interact and talk without disturbing others will really help, as not only does it allow workers to interact and talk without feeling like they’re disturbing workers around them, it also keeps other areas quieter with fewer distractions.
3) Temperature: satisfaction gap of 23%
Over three quarters (78%) of coworkers think that an acceptable office temperature is important to them, but just over half (55%) are happy with the current temperature in their office, leaving a sizeable satisfaction gap of 23%.
Workthere’s research found that productivity suffers for 89% of coworkers if the temperature in their office isn’t quite right, proving the office temperature not only has a huge impact on workers’ mood, but their productivity too. Maintaining an optimum temperature in the office (of around 22°C) can therefore help to improve happiness and productivity levels at work.
4) Quiet rooms: satisfaction gap of 22%
Three quarters (76%) of workers believe that access to a quiet room is important to them at work, but only half (54%) are satisfied with their current quiet room offering, leaving a 22% satisfaction gap.
This could be because there are no quiet rooms in the building, or there are quiet rooms but accessing them is difficult or even because ‘quiet’ rooms aren’t actually very quiet. Utilising any meeting rooms that are often unused as a dedicated quiet space can really help combat this problem. If an office space doesn’t have specific access to separate quiet rooms, introducing small ‘phone booth’ style rooms can help give workers peace and time away to work on their own without distraction.
5) Comfortable workspaces: satisfaction gap of 21%
A comfortable workspace can positively impact wellbeing and productivity at work, and 82% of coworkers said a comfortable workspace was important to them in an office. However, only 61% of respondents agreed that they are satisfied with their current work area, leaving a considerable satisfaction gap of 21%.
Ensuring that each employee has plenty of desk space, a comfortable chair and a working environment that’s not too loud, hot or cold, can really help boost happiness levels.
Commenting on the findings, Jessica Alderson, Global Research Analyst at Workthere, said: “Whilst the majority of coworkers seem to be happy with their current work space, there are some quick and effective changes that providers can make to improve this further and increase overall satisfaction levels. Given the growing competition in the current market, being comfortable and happy within the workplace can be a deal breaker for those businesses occupying flexible workspace, so it is increasingly important to get these fundamentals right.”
You can view the report here.