The findings


Download the #Loveyourworkspace booklet for full details of our findings

Are offices a toxic environment for introverts  Are offices a toxic environment for introverts?
One of the findings of our survey was that in general, extraverts reported significantly higher levels of job satisfaction and happiness at work than introverts did. One practical question is therefore; is there anything about the design of the workplace that disadvantages introverts, and if so how can this be ameliorated?
 Large, high density open plan layouts  Large, high density open plan layouts
The proliferation of open plan working may have been driven in part by a perception that open plan offices can facilitate communication and diminish the negative effects of rigid hierarchies in organisations. However, research suggests that any such benefits are outweighed by the negative effects of the open plan environment (Kim & de Dear, 2013), such as noise levels, distraction, and lack of privacy.
Indeed, in our survey, those working in an open plan office were among the least satisfied with their work environment.
Hot desking  Hot desking
Where some types didn’t mind it, or may actually enjoy the variety, movement and interaction that hot desking facilitates, on the whole it was counter intuitive to most people’s preference for having their own, defined space at work.
In our survey, hot desking was distinctly unpopular with 79% of the group agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement “It is important that I have my own desk and working area”.
Clear desk policy  Clear desk policies
Particularly relevant (but not exclusive to) hot desking environments, clear desk policies improve tidiness, but virtually eliminate possibilities of personalising workspaces.
The research found that for reasons ranging from an expression of self identity, to a reminder of a caring gesture, or an effort to create a more homely environment - many individuals express a strong desire to add personal items to their immediate surroundings. A clear desk policy can therefore significantly reduce a feeling of engagement or connectedness to a workplace.
 cool office  'Cool' offices
As the lines between domestic and corporate environments continue to blur, workplace environments are increasingly being used as a tool for employee engagement, wellbeing and employer branding.
While well-designed, aesthetically pleasing offices were almost universally appreciated amongst our sample, the presence of new gadgets, quirky objects and statement décor was more highly valued by some.
Quiet areas  Quiet areas
As the transition from a manufacturing to a service-based economy continues, the nature of our work has simultaneously become less process-driven and more interactive.
Subsequent increases in noise and movement can hamper the productivity of adjacent workers. Because collaboration can happen anywhere, at any time, it is difficult to dictate defined ‘collaboration zones’. Impromptu gatherings can start at a workstation and move on to more enclosed meeting rooms.
Our research showed that even those who you might expect to enjoy being around fellow loud, enthusiastic people need to get away from the action from time to time. Others are able to carry on without disruption, even in a noisier environment.





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