5 Areas for Better Workplace Productivity

Oct. 24, 2017

Study finds 43 percent of employees do not believe their workplace enables productivity. Focus on these areas for a better workplace productivity environment.

A study shows just how impactful a poorly planned workplace is on employees, which can negatively impact performance. Released by Leesman, an assessor of workplace effectiveness, the report analyzes how organizations can better support employees by offering an office environment that actually works and facilitates employee motivation.

Despite the current focus on health and wellbeing at work, the findings show that many employees are enduring workplaces that fail to support their basic working day, obstructing their ability to contribute to business success.

(Survey: Employees working in the highest performing locations are almost always sitting in an open-plan setting. Rejecting this type of configuration might be holding your organization back.)

“What this report demonstrates is that there is still more that organizations need to be doing if they’re going to leverage the workplace as a source of competitive advantage and a booster of organizational performance,” says Tim Oldman, CEO of Leesman. “We still see far too many workplaces that are simply not fit for purpose and that represents a huge missed opportunity for business leaders.”


The data reveals a shocking level of dissatisfaction among the workforce: 43 percent of study participants globally do not agree that their workplace enables them to work productively.

The report points to five key employee performance areas that organizations need to focus on to improve productivity:

1. Top Productivity Killers

Offices routinely present barriers to daily work that impact pride in working for their organization and overall morale. The features that have the biggest impact on employees’ ability to work productively are space between work settings, dividers and noise levels.

[From interiors+sources: Designing for the Multi-Generational Workplace]

2. Most Demanding Generation

Millennials repeatedly show themselves to have the simplest workloads and thus the narrowest set of requirements. Attention should instead be directed at those in the 35-44 age band who consistently record the lowest satisfaction scores and typically have roles that are more complex.

3. Winner of Open-plan vs. Private Office Debate 

Both open-plan and cellular solutions can be equally good and bad. Across more than 2,200 workplaces surveyed, employees in the highest performing locations will almost certainly sit in an open-plan setting, so demonizing this way of working is not the way to workplace productivity.

4. Workplace Transformation Projects Not Always Transformative

With large investments in refurbishment and relocation fit-out projects, leadership teams expect them to deliver significant operational benefit. But evidence shows this to not always be the case.

[Need ideas? Check out these Product Innovations winners.]

5. Workplace + Behavior = Effectiveness

Based on Leesman’s research across 11,336 employees in 40 activity-based spaces, these employees rarely work in an activity-based way. In short, employees don’t just change the working habits of a lifetime because employers tell them to.

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