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As the leading experts in interior landscapes, we are always looking to expand our knowledge and develop ground-breaking insights. Office design is at the forefront of what we do here at Ambius, so we set out to learn more about the people who spend a great deal of time in such spaces. To do so, we conducted a study of 1,000 office workers in the United States and United Kingdom.
One thing office workers agree on is the importance of office environment to their overall job satisfaction, with 90% of employees saying that the layout and design features of their office is a major factor in whether they are happy at work. Half of office workers (50%) say they would not even accept a job offer without looking at the workspace. Men appear to be a little more interested in their workspace than women, with 40% of men saying they have declined a job offer because they didn’t find the office space attractive or appealing compared to 34% of women.
The office workers that we surveyed ranked the importance of the following office features:
The rankings had intriguing indications across industries. Play areas are twice as important to men (9%) than women (4%), while people who work in accounting, banking and finance are twice as likely (22%) to crave bright colors than health care workers (10%) or people in public services and administration (9%).
Office workers value flexible working options more than any other employment benefit, but there are crucial differences between what men and women want from their employer.
The survey found that men value health insurance above any other work perk, whereas women would prefer more flexibility in their office job, such as options for remote working or adaptable hours.
Health insurance is four times more important to US office workers (41%) than office workers in the UK (11%), where health care is often taken for granted by many employees due to the existence of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Conversely, energy and utility workers say they value hot drinks and complimentary beverages more than any other benefit, including health care and vacation leave.
Geography seemed to play a part in the benefits office workers valued most as well. US office workers in southeastern states (51%) value health care more than workers anywhere else in the country, whereas midwestern workers (23%) value vacation leave significantly more than workers on the west coast (9%).
Within this research, Ambius revealed that that office workers spend just 47 minutes outside during a typical working day, which is less than prisoners, who require at least one hour of outdoor exposure each day, according to UN guidelines.
One-in-three office workers (35%) spend no more than 15 minutes outside during their working day, while only 26% say they spend more than an hour outside each day, excluding time spent commuting.
It is, therefore, not surprising that most office workers (64%) say that natural lighting is a highly-important office feature. However, despite this lack of outdoor exposure, only 18% of office workers believe that outside areas are important to their job satisfaction. Ambius encourages companies who are prioritizing talent recruitment and retention to explore workplace design improvements that facilitate better health and well-being.
Kenneth Freeman, Head of Innovation at Ambius, weighed in on the results of the survey.
“The fact that virtually every office worker says that the environment they work in is integral to their job satisfaction puts a huge onus on employers to be more considerate of their workers’ well-being. Employers, at a minimum, need to focus on the impact of their built environment on the physical and psychological comfort of their staff. Bringing elements of nature and natural light - or providing modern biodynamic lighting, which closely mimics natural light - into the workplace and enabling workers to be involved in the design and use of their workstations has positive effects on performance, including increases in productivity, creativity and a greater sense of well-being.
It is no surprise that morale has a measurable impact on productivity in the workplace, but employers are now learning that designing a stimulating, healthy working environment reflects a positive company culture, which can be a powerful marketing tool for attracting the right talent.”
The key to attracting and keeping valuable employees is to provide an environment in which they can thrive. To discover how Ambius can help you make your office a place where employees want to be, send us a message or give us a call at 800-581-9946 today.