Remote working continues to grow in popularity according to the latest Staples Workplace Survey. Only a third of employees in the US and Canada now spend all their time in the office.
The perception of remote working is now seen as an expectation rather than a mere perk of the job. 43% of those surveyed expect this flexibility from their employer. However, only 38% of employers actually offer flexible or remote working.
Distractions of an Open Plan Office
It appears, the biggest gripe amongst workers is the distractions of working in an open plan office. 57% of those able to work remotely say having this option available enables them to get away from distractions and makes them more productive. The most common distractions according to the survey are:
- Overhearing colleagues’ conversations
- Overhearing colleagues’ personal phone calls
- Working in high traffic areas
- Working near a colleague who is angry or upset
Modupe Akinola, Ph.D., associate professor of leadership and ethics at Columbia Business School explains:
“The open office may have gone too far and could ultimately get in the way of itself. While employees in open offices are more likely to think of their office culture and environment as transparent, distractions – like regularly overhearing co-workers’ personal conversations – have become unavoidable. These distractions have the potential to hinder productivity, increase stress, and drive employees away from the same offices that were designed with the intention of fostering collaboration.”
Other Findings from the Workplace Survey
1,004 full time employees and 200 office managers and facilities managers were surveyed this year. Some key findings of the report include:
- Only 27% of Millennials spend all their time in a traditional office
- Approximately 14.6 million American office workers utilise co-working spaces
- 21% of employees would take a 10% pay cut to work in a nicer workplace
- 80% of employees believe employers have a responsibility to keep employees mentally and physical well. However, only 23% of workers say they have access to a dedicated wellness room in their place of work
- 44% of employees say they have taken a mental health day
- 15% of employees say they have specifically taken a holiday in a place where their phone or computer wouldn’t work.
Neil Ringel, president of North American Delivery, Staples says:
“The Workplace Survey arms businesses of all sizes with insight into the latest workplace trends so businesses can stay relevant and keep employees happy, productive, and motivated. Our purpose at Staples is to help the world work better, including the solutions, services and products to help businesses no matter where employees work.”
To read the full Staples Workplace Survey 2017, visit the website here.