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Is your uncomfortable workplace driving you to distraction?

Posted: 8 Aug 2017

Is your office driving you to distraction? Does your chair give you backache? Does your workspace have a habit of switching from hot to cold and then back again, leaving you muggy and chilly all at once? Well, you're not alone.

Wellbeing in the workplace may take a backseat to general health and safety, but it is just as important. Yet, while most of us have workspace-related gripes, fewer HR managers realise that these complaints don't just hamper our spirits, but our productivity as well.

One in four workers state that their desk-based discomfort has a negative impact on productivity. The assertion comes from office supply company Fellowes, quoted in HR Magazine, which surveyed 1,000 office workers on what workspace annoyances distracted them the most.

Just under a quarter (24%) cited feeling uncomfortable at their desks, while 25% said their surroundings left them feeling distracted and dismayed. So what were some of these top pet peeves? Workers noted that they were distracted when it was uncomfortably hot (37%), if they suffered IT-related problems (42%) or because of their colleagues' bad habits.

The respondents said that such interferences came at a high cost, with 50% reporting that they lost up to an hour every day because of them. But it's not just an office's output that's jeopardised; Fellowes estimates that this costs the UK a huge 21 million working days every month, which equates to roughly £3 billion a year.

Luckily, Fellowes also proposed a collection of viable solutions. One proposal was standing up at the desk, which was suggested by 63% of workers who found it improved their productivity. Meanwhile, one in four (40%) said that remote working or working from home honed their attention and output, and 61% said that a four-day week would help them focus.

While a four-day working week might be a little optimistic, especially for an always-on profession like marketing, flexible working and working from home are possible solutions to some of these workplace distractions. Many companies have already started offering these types of benefits. If yours doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to move on? Contact Stopgap today to see how we can help.

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