Contrary To Popular Belief, Employees Don’t Actually Want Much From Their Offices

There’s an idea out there that companies need to have all-singing, all-dancing offices to keep their best people interested in working for them over the long-term. Google, for instance, takes this concept to the extreme, putting ball pits and helter-skelters on its premises.

But evidence on the ground seems to suggest that the demands of most employees are far more down to Earth. They don’t want gimmicks – they want an office environment that is conducive to work.

Contrary to popular belief, employees don’t want a considerable amount from their offices – just the basics.

A Modicum Of Privacy

At root, we all need some privacy, but recent workplace trends work actively against this. Internet monitoring, for instance, means that workers can’t do anything online without assuming that somebody is watching what they’re doing. And open offices are a disaster. Working in front of everyone else means that you can’t relax – ever.

Privacy is something that most of your employees need. They want to feel as if they can enjoy parts of their day unsupervised, without having somebody, somewhere keeping an eye on them. For companies, therefore, it is all about creating a balance. You need some oversight, but not to the extent that it begins to hamper happiness.

Decent Climate Control

People in the public sector often have to put up with poorly furnished offices that are too hot in summer and cold in winter – that’s just the nature of the work. Those in the private sector, however, expect better service from their employers. Air conditioning systems that use water chillers should be able to keep the temperature constant year-round, no matter what the weather throws at them.

Variations in temperature can harm worker productivity. It can also lead to headaches and a general feeling of unease in the office. If you don’t manage the climate well, workers may not want to show up to work, increasing your absenteeism costs.

Fewer Visual Distractions

There’s a trend in modern offices to paint the walls bright colours and put company branding and artwork all over the walls. But when you ask employees what they want from their office spaces, it is fewer distractions. At root, most workers want to get on with their work. They don’t need office bloat getting in the way.

Research suggests that what workers can see with their peripheral vision can have a massive impact on their overall performance. Visually-stimulating images take up precious brain resources, leaving less left over for the task at hand.

Options To Go Outside

The final thing that workers want is more opportunities to work and collaborate outside. Most people at your firm don’t want to spend all day indoors sitting on a chair. They would much prefer to take a stroll with their colleagues in the open and use that as a forum to discuss the issues of the day.

Physical activity during working hours may actually help to improve overall worker productivity. A little extra exercise can boost blood flow to the brain, helping to make thinking clearer.

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