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Voice of the Employee

Slides, sleeping pods and ping pong tables may be popular in Silicon Valley offices, but Brits have very different ideas about their dream office environments, according to new research.

A survey of 1,096 British workers, including both home workers and those who work from their employers’ premises, by CartridgePeople.com and published in the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers Report, revealed that while employees at companies such as Capital One can enjoy ‘sleeping nooks’ in which to take rest breaks during the day, less than 1 in 10 (7%) British workers would like sleeping pods in their ideal office.

And while Google’s headquarters feature slides, basketball courts and grown up playground equipment, just 8% of UK workers described them as a key component of their dream office.

Only 8% of British workers were interested in social media office enhancements, such as the selfie booths as seen in the offices of fashion retailer, Missguided.

Research revealed that in fact all workers really wanted was simple environmental enhancements, such as windows that open to provide fresh air during the working day (49%), and separate eating areas (44%) in which to enjoy their meals away from their desks, in a relaxing social environment.

Having plants and greenery in the workplace, to cleanse the air, was third most popular (40%) for office workers.

Andrew Davies, spokesperson for CartridgePeople.com, commented: “I’m sure for many employers this research will provide reassurance that they needn’t be trying to live up to the offices of companies like Google and Capital One, and can instead focus on simple creature comforts.

“Employers who are looking to retain existing and possibly attract new employees should ensure their office and working environment is appealing to staff. They can achieve this by introducing simple environmental enhancements such as break out areas, flexible workspaces and a fully functioning kitchen. Our research shows workers aren’t looking for flashy, whacky workspaces, but simple and functional features.

“A more appealing working environment can have positive effects on productivity, employee engagement and wellbeing. And as such, many companies are open to the idea of blowing budgets on updating working environments, however this research shows that this isn’t necessary in order to achieve a happy workforce.”

CartridgePeople.com is a leading UK retailer of high quality printer ink cartridges, supplying homes, businesses and public sector organisations including schools and Government departments.

The top 10 environmental enhancements which appear in UK workers’ dream offices:

  1. Windows that open – 49%
  2. Separate eating areas – 44%
  3. Plants and flowers – 40%
  4. Chill out zones – 37%
  5. Fully working kitchens– 29%
  6. Standing desks/workspaces – 10.3%
  7. Flexible ‘hot desk’ workspaces – 10.1%
  8. Social media-friendly environmental enhancements (e.g. selfie booths) – 8.3%
  9. Grown up playground/park equipment – e.g. slides – 8.2%
  10. Sleeping pods/spaces – 7.7%

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