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Natural light tops survey as ‘must-have’ for a productive workforce

Nearly half of UK office workers believe natural light is key to boosting productivity while 34% claim clutter free office spaces have the same effect, new research reveals.

Furthermore, according to research* from 14forty, the integrated facilities management business from Compass Group UK & Ireland, 15% of respondents stated that an open plan office helps them to be more efficient in the work place. These findings, the firm points out, are consistent with those of Mirjam Münch, whose study concluded that by increasing natural light, employees sleep better and are more rested, leading to increased productivity.

The top ten considerations UK office workers stated they wanted from their working environments were:

  1. Natural light (35%)
  2. Good lighting (22%)
  3. Supported chairs (18%)
  4. Heating (16%)
  5. Air conditioning (15%)
  6. Clean desks (16%)
  7. Bins emptied regularly (19%)
  8. Storage space (23%)
  9. Recycling (28%)
  10. Two screens (26%) 

When it comes to agile working and hot-desking, UK employees prefer to have their own designated space with 86% of those questioned saying they preferred to have their own desk. A mere 1% of respondents were pro hot-desking and 13% said they preferred working from home. Despite this, a past report from serviced office firm Regus found that on average; more than 55% of desks are unused in any office at any one point. Coupled with the fact that the average annual cost of a desk in the western world is £15,000, it is apparent that if hot-desking is managed well and isn’t an inconvenience to employees, companies stand to save money 14forty claims. 

Steve Davies, managing director of 14forty, commented on the findings:

“This research highlights that clutter free, light spaces are of paramount importance to employees and this is something employers need to acknowledge. However, when it comes to hot desk working our research shows that employees are failing to understand the business benefits. Clearly it can deliver lower costs for businesses and has the potential to make for a more varied working environment for employees, however it needs to be managed effectively.”

When it comes to those that work behind the scenes, 47% believe that the cleaner is the secret office hero in the workplace, while 32% of those that voted highlighted the work of the reception team. 


*Research conducted amongst 100 UK workers in January/February 2014




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