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Survey Reveals How To Increase Productivity Through Commercial Office Refurbishment

As many businesses know, it can sometimes be difficult to keep staff focused, motivated and productive. This is especially true during the summer months when the sun is shining outside and staff maybe sitting at a desk inside. The following survey results should help businesses identify what they can be doing to improve the work environment for their staff and thereby increase staff productivity.

Commercial Office Refurbishment Survey

The survey asked a number of questions but for the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on those questions which were based purely on how commercial office refurbishments can affect the work environment:


60% of staff would like air conditioning, especially during the hot summer months, but 37% don’t have it. 34% would like showers and changing facilities but 65% don’t have access to them.

Understandably during the hot summer months staff are looking to keep cool and not be stuck inside an overly warm office, which is not conducive to working, staying focused on the task or being productive.

It’s also a fact that during the summer staff usually want to take advantage of the good weather, get some fresh air and exercise. As a consequence they place a high value on facilities such as changing areas, showers and air conditioning.

Providing staff with the opportunity to be able to shower after exercising can help maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. This is backed up by research that shows productivity increased 42% and creativity rose by 33% when employees from various British companies were asked to take shower breaks over a two month period and record how it affected their work. These results show that by investing in changing rooms and shower facilities businesses should see a return on investment and happier and more productive staff. Overall a win win for staff and businesses.

Outdoor Space

57% think having an outdoor space they can escape to relax or de-stress would be valuable but 66% do not have one.

Of course it’s not always possible for businesses to access outside space but where it is possible a garden or seating area can provide staff with a place to go to enjoy breaks or have lunch while getting fresh air.

Break Out Areas Help with Staff Bonding

More than 75% said that colleague and team relationships were important to them.

With this in mind where outdoor spaces aren’t viable many businesses are building break out areas into their refurbishment plans as they have been shown to provide staff with a great way to get away from their desk, meet with colleagues for a coffee and de-stress.

Break out areas provide great opportunities for staff to spend time away from their desk with colleagues allowing them to build relationships and to bond and team build. Given that good office design which includes break out areas can often alleviate stress and improve productivity break out areas can prove to be essential.

Natural Light

40% feel their workspace would benefit from natural light, proven to be very important in a great many surveys, but 39% don’t have it.

It’s vital to utilize natural light in offices and work spaces. Where there is exposure to natural light research has shown it’s directly linked to greater workplace performance while the absence of natural light correlates with increased levels of workplace stress. A study by B.L. Collins found that 35% of employees (which has increased to 40% in the survey here) identified the absence of natural light as one of the major concerns associated with their office environment. This lack of natural light can result in feelings of isolation, tension and claustrophobia.

Mental Health Research UK says people who go without daily sunlight risk developing lethargy, depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) (also known as winter depression). It’s estimated that a million working hours are lost to SAD each year in the UK.

Working Environment

Around 66% of staff surveyed believe that their office environment is a very important factor in keeping them happy at work. 42% of staff say that their current office environment does not have a positive impact on their happiness and only 36% enjoy coming to work every day.

31% of people who replied to the survey would be willing to sacrifice 1% or more of their salary for an office refurbishment and enhanced facilities! 66% of staff replied that they would be happy to spend more hours in the office if extra facilities were provided, 17% who filled in the survey said they would spend more than two hours extra per day!

When planning an office refurbishment many businesses may overlook facilities like changing rooms and showers or may not have the space for them. However the statistics above should be seen as an opportunity for employers to think about how they can to improve the office culture and help attract and retain talent. By incorporating facilities like changing rooms and showers, businesses can create a working environment where staff can enjoy a healthy lifestyle leading to an improvement in working conditions, staff engagement and an increase in productivity.

Involving Staff In Office Refurbishment Plans

Despite the fact that staff may have valuable input into to give on what would work well in their office less than 50% of staff are involved or asked for their opinion when it came to any commercial office refurbishment changes to their office environment.

From the results above it’s clear that businesses could be doing more to engage with staff to provide an office environment and facilities which would help them to be more happy and productive at work.

Given that staff surveyed said they were willing to give up part of their pay and spend more time in the office when their office was refurbished to meet their needs and provide “must have” facilities it’s obvious that commercial office refurbishments play a vital role in how staff feel about coming to work and in how productive they are when they get there.

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