Neil Usher, Sky’s Workplace Director says “We spend around half of our time working alone, half working with others. That’s a good enough starting point for just about every workplace scheme.”

And most of that time is spent in the office, despite what we might think about a revolution in agile working. According to Leesman, 91% of us still work in a single location. And while the workplace is certainly changing, 64% of UK and Ireland employees are based at their own desk in an open plan area.


91% Still work in a single location
64% Based at their own desk (UK&I)


A growing number of progressive employers understand that there has been an enormous change in the social value of workplace. Where their workplaces used to be the manifestation of power and hierarchy, now they affirm collaborative culture and a sense of community. This social cohesion consistently returns the highest employee agreement that ‘the design of my workplace enables me to work productively’.

“The key to increasing density effectively is mobility – with the freedom to choose coupled with a choice of environments that suit different types of work and personal preferences”

Bridget Hardy, strategic advisor on smart working at The Department of Work and Pensions

If that wasn’t enough, research consistently shows how important workplace is in attracting and retaining talent. CIPD’s Resource talent planning survey found that half of all employees said that physical workspace was more important than even leadership in helping them choose.

But if you want to design a workplace that enables people to work productively, your employees will almost certainly have to be satisfied that you have provided a variety of different types of workspaces. It is clear this is the single biggest workplace lever for direct return on investment in human capital.

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