Employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier - they're also up to 32% more productive, according to new research from the University of Exeter in the UK.
Studies by the University's School of Psychology have revealed the potential for remarkable improvements in workers' attitudes to their jobs by allowing them to personalise their offices.
The findings challenge the conventional approach taken by most companies, where managers often create a 'lean' working environment that reflects a standardized corporate identity.
Dr Craig Knight conducted the research as part of his PhD and is now Director of PRISM - a company that deals with space issues in the workplace. He said "Most contemporary offices are functional and offer very little user control, but our studies suggest this practice needs to be challenged.
"When people feel uncomfortable in their surroundings they are less engaged - not only with the space but also with what they do in it. If they can have some control, that all changes and people report being happier at work, identifying more with their employer, and are more efficient when doing their jobs."
The research involved more than 2,000 office workers in a series of studies looking at attitudes to - and productivity within - working space. This included two surveys of workers' attitudes carried out via online questionnaires, as well as two experiments which examined workers' efficiency when carrying out tasks under different conditions.
The surveys assessed the level of control workers had over their space - ranging from none at all to being fully consulted over design changes. Workers were then asked a series of questions about how they felt about their workspace and their jobs.
(Medical News Today) Read more
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