Work Spaces for the "Facility Frustrated"

Article excerpt

PRODUCTIVITY

Managers aren't too happy with their work-space facilities these days. The office space of the future will have to do a much better job of supporting teamwork, telecommuting, and overall productivity, according to a new study by Cincinnati-based Hixson, a workspace design, architecture, and engineering firm.

The survey, conducted with more than 650 Fortune 1,000 and dot-com managers, shows that 72 percent give their office space a grade of C or lower when asked about the impact of their workplaces on productivity and achieving their business objectives. Targeting senior staff from a broad range of business functions, the Hixson survey indicates that the current state of facilities is a hindrance and that there are significant opportunities to enhance employee productivity, retention, recruitment, satisfaction, and team effectiveness.

Furthermore, the findings show the vast majority of managers believe their offices tend to inhibit rather than promote teamwork and flexibility. Indeed, managers are "facility frustrated" to such an extent that 61 percent would sacrifice nearly one-half of their bonuses to improve the workplace. And an additional 10 percent of respondents say they would trade their annual bonuses for facilities improvements. Here are some other findings from the survey respondents:

Fifty-eight percent say their facilities are appropriate for yesterday's standards, not today's, increasing the already difficult challenge of employee recruitment and retention.

Telecommuting and the mobile workforce are expected to triple over the next five years, with as much as 50 percent of the workforce telecommuting and the average worker spending only 36 percent of his or her time in their work space.

When telecommuters work on premises at their employers' offices, they feel unsatisfied with and under-served by the facilities available to them.

Respondents expect that the rise of teambased work in corporations will grow 44 percent over the next five years. …