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Satisfaction in the workspace linked to increased productivity, survey of 6,000 employees finds

Survey conducted by leading office solutions provider, Fellowes Brands, finds that UK employees who are satisfied with their workspace benefit from up to 50% increased productivity

  • 91% of all European employees and 89% of UK employees say satisfaction is important to them in their workspace
  • 32% of UK employees say being satisfied or very satisfied with their workspace environment improves their productivity by up to 50%
  • Over a third (43%) of UK employees find well-ventilated and filtered air satisfying in their workspace
  • 42% of UK employees who feel more productive working in the office said it’s because they have better equipment at the office

Leading office solution supplier, Fellowes Brands, today announces the results of its survey of over 6,000 employees across Europe, 1,000 of which are from the UK, revealing 9 in 10 (91%) of all European employees and 89% of UK employees say satisfaction is important to them in their workspace, regardless of whether working location is at the corporate office or the home office. Moreover, 88% of UK employees say satisfaction improves their productivity by more than 25%.

By helping to uncover attitudes of European and British employees towards workspace satisfaction and productivity, the survey findings help inform employers how best to navigate the new ‘hybrid’ model of working, where a portion of time is spent working within the corporate office, and a portion working from a home office.

The survey results highlight the importance of workspace satisfaction and are supported by additional social media sentiment analysis conducted by Fellowes Brands, which found that there were 1.9 million mentions of workspace satisfaction in the past 12-months, up from 1.5 million mentions in the previous 12-month period.

Following a period where many Britons spent a year working almost exclusively from home, Fellowes Brands’ survey reveals that 36% of UK employees who work from home say they feel more productive in the office, and 29% say they feel more productive when working in the new ‘hybrid’ working environment.

In addition to uncovering British attitudes about the modern workspace, the survey also revealed interesting commonalities between employees across Europe — in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain, as well as the UK. In comparing results from all of the European countries, the data painted a picture of four ‘core elements’ that make up workspace satisfaction.

As identified by the Fellowes Brands survey results, the Four Core Elements of Workspace Satisfaction are:

  1. Clean Environment
  2. Healthy Workspace
  3. Secure Environment
  4. Tidiness & Organisation

Here’s what European and UK employees have to say about each of the four core elements:

Clean Environment

  • 77% of UK employees say it is important for an employer to invest in clean, healthy air (e.g., using air purifiers) to facilitate productivity in their workspace.
  • 54% of all European employees surveyed said that a well-ventilated space is the top ‘smell’ that gives them satisfaction in their workspace.
  • A third (33%) of UK employees say they find breathing cleaner, healthier air satisfying at work.

Healthy Workspace

  • 83% of all European employees (and 81% of UK employees) say having a good ergonomic environment, including a suitable desk, chair, and monitor at eye level is important to their productivity.
  • 80% of UK employees say it is important to their productivity that their employer invests in ergonomics.

Secure Environment

  • Two thirds (66%) of all European employees agree that being able to dispose of confidential or sensitive documents securely gives them satisfaction.
  • 74% of UK employees say it is important that an employer invests in equipment to shred sensitive documents.

Tidiness & Organisation

  • 81% of UK employees say having a clean, healthy workspace is important to their productivity.
  • 77% of UK employees say it is important that an employer invests in effective storage and organisation solutions they need to be productive at the office.
  • 79% of UK employees say having access to the equipment they need, such as an extra monitor to view large documents, is important to their productivity.
  • 73% of UK employees and 69% of all European employees say it is important that an employer invests in equipment to produce high quality presentations and documents, including laminators and binders, they need to be productive at the office.

A theme running throughout the four core elements also points to the need for employers ensuring the correct equipment in the hybrid workspace:

  • 50% of all European employees said that it positively impacts their productivity when satisfied with their working set-up.
  • More than 8 in 10 (83%) of all European employees say that having an excellent ergonomic environment, including a suitable desk, chair, monitor at eye level, is essential to their productivity.
  • 36% of all European employees prefer to have a hybrid working option; versus 24% who prefer to work solely from home.

Productivity expert Martin Geiger, who has authored Fellowes Brands’ whitepaper on the results of the survey, supports the findings through his own work, commenting:

“The future of work is hybrid. No longer is working solely relegated to the company office; the modern workspace now involves employees splitting a portion of their time working from within the corporate office, and a portion working from the home office.

“Throughout my career working with some of the world’s biggest companies, one thing I’ve come to notice is that the most productive people all seem to have one commonality: satisfaction. To successfully transition to this exciting hybrid working future, employers must implement practical strategies that allow their employees to be satisfied with the setup within the corporate office, as well as within their home working environment.

“Employees who are well equipped and thus satisfied with their working conditions in both locations will lead to outcomes of higher productivity.”

In concert with the findings linking employee satisfaction with increased productivity, Fellowes Brands offers solutions designed to aid employers in optimising their hybrid strategy, while satisfying employees in their hybrid workspaces.

Fellowes Brands UK Marketing Manager, Jeremy Cooper, comments:

“The modern workspace is rapidly evolving, and with that comes a change in the tools that employees need to be successful and productive in their work. As employers begin to design new hybrid ways of working, ensuring that employers outfit their employees for both corporate and home office working will be key.

“Employers must ensure that their employees’ workstations are optimised for each of the Four Core Elements of Workspace Satisfaction. Doing so will keep employees safe, satisfied, and productive. At Fellowes Brands, we understand that hybrid working is the future and have built our hybrid workspace tools to meet the demands of this future, ensuring productivity for the long-term.”

The full survey results and their analysis can be found in Fellowes Brands’ new whitepaper, entitled ‘The Importance of Workspace Satisfaction’, authored by productivity expert, Martin Geiger, which can be downloaded at fellowes.com/fellowes-satisfaction.

Fellowes Brands ergonomics, monitor arms, shredders, binders, laminators, and bankers boxes, and more, can be found by visiting fellowes.com.

About Fellowes Brands

A family-owned business that was founded in 1917, Fellowes Brands operates from 18 locations across the world.

At Fellowes, our mission is to help people to be the best they can be, by helping office workers everywhere become more productive, more efficient, happier, and healthier. That’s why we make office products like business machines, storage products, and workspace well-being solutions. Products by our family-owned business have been in your workspace and your home for over 100 years. They’re designed to meet — and exceed — the needs of an ever-changing world. So, whether you’re in a big corporate office or a cozy home office, we’ll help you to be at your best. Because if you work better, you feel better. Learn more by visiting: fellowes.com

Methodology

Fellowes Brands commissioned Censuswide, a market research and survey consultancy, to conduct an online survey between 8th – 18th June 2021 with a sample of 6,212 office workers in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Poland.

 All respondents were double opted in (with an opt in and validation process) and completed a screening questionnaire ahead of the main survey. The screening questionnaire ensured all individuals surveyed where employed (either full time or part time) at time of survey, working either in the office or on a hybrid basis.

 Respondents’ data was stored anonymously. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct and the ESOMAR principles.

 In addition to the survey, Fellowes Brands used Pulsar, an audience intelligence and social listening platform, to identify trends on social media relating to the changing workspace and workspace satisfaction.

 Data from Twitter was captured between 01 June 2020 – 31 May 2021, with searches for terms relating to remote work, workspace satisfaction, and the office environment. Global, English language content was analysed.

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