Poor lighting is a major source of dissatisfaction in UK offices, according to a study of more than 12,000 workers in 17 countries
commissioned by Steelcase. The Ipsos survey found that workers in the UK are least satisfied with their working environment, with 45% complaining about the temperature in offices and 32% expressing unhappiness with the light intensity.
Overall, one third of office workers say they don’t like their working environment.
Significantly, fewer than four out of 10 UK respondents (39%) are able to adjust their office temperature and only one in five (21%) can modify their lighting.
The situation in the UK reflects the popularity of open plan offices, which have cost-saving benefits but can limit people’s ability to control their environment. Almost half (49%) of UK workers are based in open plan offices.
Steelcase warns that a lack of control over the physical environment can seriously affect workers’ concentration, productivity and engagement levels, pointing out that the most highly engaged employees are those with the greatest flexibility over how and where they work.
Christine Congdon, Steelcase’s Director of Global Research Communication, said: “Everybody is different and personal preference will depend on an individual’s natural physiology, their mood on a particular day and the task they are working on. To cater to these constantly changing needs, employers should pay more attention to providing a range of working environments, including the ability to adjust workspace basics as required.”