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Growing grumbles in the workplace jungle?

We’re supposed to be living in a world of flexible working. A time when our workplaces are more in tune with the needs of staff than ever before. However, Crown Workspace’s recent research uncovered a different story. When it comes to their workplace, office workers seem a pretty disgruntled bunch. Some employers need to be thinking harder about how they make their office environment more conducive to staff needs.

Our research uncovered the top ten office grumbles straight from the horses (or employee’s) mouth. Surveying over 650 UK workers with help from YouGov, we found that millennials have the most to complain about.

Their main gripes include:

  • Their colleagues
  • Out of date technology
  • Their boss

Perhaps older generations with more life experience behind them have grown to be more tolerant of their workplace and those within it. However, we’ve all been there – that job where things just aren’t quite to your liking. But it seems from our survey that different things bug different people. The lesson from this for employers is they need to think holistically about all aspects of their workspace operations and how they can be improved.

People need to collaborate, but they also sometimes need space from colleagues. They need an environment that is comfortable and suited to their working style. They also need the right high-quality equipment. These are just a few of the things that seem to make a big difference.

Here is the full top ten:

10th Poor décor and furniture
9th Inadequate desk space
8th Poor office location
7th Inadequate office space
6th Poor lighting
5th Poor facilities
4th Dislikeable bosses
3rd Uncomfortable temperature
2nd Slow or old technology
1st Work colleagues

Many of these factors can be addressed through improved workspace planning, redesign and fit-out – the types of service that Crown Workspace provides. And, while it might seem that little can be done about annoying work colleagues, design can have an impact here too.

Considering how your office space is divided can help enormously. Employers could create a variety of working environments to match different personalities. Quiet areas for those who work best on their own. Open plan spaces for those who are more collaborative.

Changing the office space

‘Home from work’ styled spaces are a great way to meet the needs of millennials and improve productivity. This could include providing relaxing sofas where an employee can kick off their shoes, put their feet up and work, or greater variety of meeting areas.

Considering these findings, now might be a good time to think about workspace grumbles and how they are impacting employee happiness and productivity. Start by asking employees what could be improved.

In future blogs, we will look at some of these top grumbles in more depth and investigate how improvements can be made.

Download to see the top 5 office grumbles 


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We were delighted to support VISA (VPL) with the donation of quality used furniture and equipment to SS Peter & Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Ilford as part of their sustainable clearance project.

Crown Workspace has been independently refurbishing and repairing Herman Miller furniture since 2011, and now has now been named an authorised refurbishment partner for the iconic brand.

As part of the BITC Circular Economy (CE) Taskforce, we have been guiding organisations to embrace less wasteful, more sustainable, and circular practice in the workplace. Check out the ‘Guide to delivering carbon-friendly workplace transition’ now:

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