Three quarters (73 per cent) of UK workers believe that the provision of ergonomic work conditions, as well as support for their health would help determine whether to join an organisation. The survey by Ergotron, revealed that younger generations surveyed place special importance on this, with 100 per cent of workers aged 18-24 claiming they would select a new employer based on this criteria; in fact only 5 per cent of all workers disagreed.
This indicates the expectation for employers to accommodate the health and wellbeing of workers within their work spaces. Yet only around one third (36 per cent) of respondents have a line manager who regularly checks in with them to enquire about health and wellbeing, which means that employers are falling short of delivering these needs.
Results of the survey showed a clear disparity in terms of the work equipment employees need and what employers provide. An overwhelming 89 per cent cited a laptop as important; with even 80 per cent of those aged 55+ agreeing. Despite this, only 65 per cent of all respondents claim that they have been provided a laptop by employers.
With the increasing amount of technology applications required for typical work roles, two screens has become a clear preference to one screen at work, and while 47 per cent of total respondents say that two screens was ‘very important’, less than a third (28 per cent) of respondents have been supplied even a large screen monitor by employers. Therefore workers’ needs sit well above what their employers are currently providing, and 15 per cent claimed their employers had not provided any equipment at all – including a laptop, ergonomic chair, big monitor, or a subsidy for equipment.
Comfort and mobility at work is also ranking as a key priority for employees. While 75 per cent of respondents said that an ergonomic chair is important, only 19 per cent claimed their employers had in fact supplied them with one. An agile working environment, where workers can switch between sitting and standing to support their physical needs while at work, is also identified as a clear need. 52 per cent of workers consider it important to be able to switch between sitting and standing while working at home, the office or any workplace. A higher proportion of the younger age groups require this more agile environment, with 71 per cent of workers aged 18-24 claiming this to be important.
As part of the need to collaborate with remote teams, and the growing trend to work from home and other business locations, flexibility of technology, and portability of devices, has become critical too. 77 per cent of all respondents said it is important to be able to bring their IT devices with them when working in different rooms. Age is not a factor here, with a significant 60 per cent of workers aged over 55 agreeing that this is very important. It is clear that rooms must have dedicated flexible workspaces that adapt to their different users.
Richard Guy, Country Sales Manager UK & Ireland at Ergotron, said: “Since the impact of Covid-19 on workers moving to a more hybrid home/office or home working basis, the importance of the need for adaptable workstyles has increased in creating a safe, productive and collaborative working environment.
“All workers, in particular the younger generation, are looking for flexible technology provision, involving standing to work, moving rooms and taking their technology with them, and more wellbeing support. But formalising this new-look working environment has not yet been addressed by many employers and provisions should be made for workers, not only on-request. Organisations need to develop a robust strategy, which re-designs the way their employees are able to work, and accounts for real workers’ needs.
“The scope of this should go beyond available technologies, such as laptops, large screens, swivel mounts, adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs, to other dedicated resources which support workers’ physical and mental wellbeing, such as employee wellbeing management plans.”