British businesses have been treading water since 2008 for a multitude of reasons. However, the area we can comment on with absolute authority is the role of the corporate workplace in boosting productivity. Across 108 UK workplaces and 11,812 employees measured in the last 12-months, one in three cannot report that their workplace allows them to work productively. This is having a continued negative impact on employees and creating “toxic workplaces” where efforts are being met with business environments that are simply not supporting people in the role they are employed to undertake.
In 2010, Leesman set out with a singular objective - to examine at a depth and consistency never before attempted, exactly how corporate workplaces support employee and organisational performance. Having collected data on more than 1,290 workplaces in 50 countries, it is clear that employers are clearly failing to recognise the role of the office and how it supports the way people work. In fact, there’s a woeful lack of science being applied to the workplace environment - possibly because the focus remains on those ever-tightening purse strings.
In a bid to save costs on the corporate workplace environment, employers are ramming employees into smaller spaces; apparently unaware of the harmful impact this can have on business performance. It’s important to remember that people are productivity drivers because effort always underpins output. And people simply can’t work productively if they’re elbow-to-elbow with their colleagues. As the costs of delivery continues to increase, and as finance directors continue to sacrifice property and infrastructure to save money, more workplaces pass a tipping point where their workspaces are failing to support the productivity of those they accommodate.
What has always sat at the heart of Leesman is this idea around workplace effectiveness. We’ve asked hundreds of thousands of employees across the globe whether their workspace helps them do their job. For one in two people, it actually gets in the way. And a similar number - 49% - would not feel proud to show a visitor around their office. If your workforce is actively dissatisfied with the offering of the workspace, then they’re not going to be particularly engaged or productive.