Office space causes disagreement between bosses and employees

A significant disparity lies between what business owners want to implement in the work place in comparison to their employees.

In a recent survey conducted by MoneySuperMarket, findings revealed that there were some areas of disagreement between bosses and their workers, across all sectors, about what they wanted to see in their office space.

The largest difference in opinion was found in regards to the implementation of luxury features in the office. Whilst 66 per cent of employees wanted the office to provide free snacks, around only half of their employers (34 per cent) were in agreement about providing this. Similarly, whilst over half of workers (53 per cent) wanted free meals, 77 per cent of employers did not wish to offer this at work.

Additionally, 63 per cent of employers wanted their offices to be close to transport services yet more than half of employees (59 per cent) wanted their work place to be in close proximity to their house.

However, there was a general consensus regarding other areas.

23 per cent of both employers and employees favoured an office space which had abundant light and lots of windows.

Furthermore, 72 per cent of bosses and 70 per cent of employees preferred the option to have a fixed desk, desiring to eliminate the practice of hot desking, an organisational tactic where employees sit at different desks on a day to day basis.

Employers and employees were also in agreement when considering their working hours. 54 per cent of both employers and workers desired to have flexible working hours which could see the working day starting as late as 10am or ending as soon as 4:30pm.

Chris Adcock, director of Reed HR, an employment agency, comments:

While the detail of the differences within the office space for employees and employers differ, they are united by the same desire to create a space that allows the business, and careers, to thrive.

However, it is rare for both sides to have the same office in mind when picturing what creates success. This is also dependent on the sector. To bring these thoughts closer together, businesses might need to let themselves be lead a little way down the garden path into the unknown by acting on suggestions from employees. The value of having a stake and feeling truly valued by a company should never be underestimated.

Companies such as Moneypenny, an outsourced communications provider, have actually acted on suggestions of their staff and have created a ‘dream office’ in Wrexham, Wales. Each part of the company’s office headquarters is directly correlated to results from a survey, answered by the employees on what they most wanted in an office space.

The Moneypenny office contains a treehouse meeting room, its own village pub, a sun terrace and a triple height atrium with stadium seating and a restaurant offering free breakfast and fruit. As a consequence, Moneypenny have been recognised six times in The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ and been accredited a three star rating, the highest accreditation, reflecting ‘extraordinary levels’ of workplace engagement.

MoneySuperMarket interviewed 1,500 business owners and employees across all sectors between 31th August  – 20th September 2018 to obtain these results.

Interested in wellbeing in the workplace We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.

Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.