Business Now Features
Coffee & Casual Seating Beat Wacky Workplace Novelties
• A decent cup of coffee trumps office ball pits and slides • Pets, plants and prosecco all make the top five office features • David Attenborough and Richard Branson top the wish list for water-cooler banter
As the corporate world spend millions competing to come up with weird and wacky office designs, new research reveals what working Brits actually want.
A flat white or cappuccino is not a luxury any industry or worker is willing to forgo, as two thirds said a caffeine kick is the most important feature in their dream office.
Research by international co-working developer, Areaworks, also revealed a tipple while they work was important for the majority, as 66% included a booze-filled fridge among their choice items.
Being closer to the outdoors, and the ability to work from a balcony or roof terrace was a deal breaker for 64%, with the recent British summer heatwave no doubt a deciding factor in the decision-making process.
Hanging chairs, bean bags and flexible spaces are a must for most, as half of office workers want to ditch fixed desks in favour of casual seating and hot desking, making it a top-five most favoured feature.
Despite fireman’s poles and ball pits being installed in offices up and down the country, it seems online fashion retailer, Missguided’s selfie tunnel is misjudged, and UKFast’s slide is a step too far, as the office gimmicks failed to feature on most people’s workplace bucket list.
Those in marketing, recruitment and HR are most likely to want to work alongside their four-legged friends, while those in retail, social care and pharmaceuticals simply want some fresh air and outdoor space.
Once the dream office was decided, the nation’s workforce was polled on which celebrity co-working companions they would like to share the ideal space with.
Twenty percent of UK workers picked David Attenborough – famed for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the world – as their top choice of dream office co-worker, while one in five would rather share an office space with Sir Richard Branson, as they believe the famous entrepreneur would share his carefree business spirit.
Thirty-seven percent want a comic colleague, with Michael McIntyre, Graham Norton and Jimmy Carr all listed as dream workmates, proving laughter is the key to a happy workplace.
One in six would like Countdown’s Rachel Riley to help them with their finance and accounting queries, while BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook star Mary Berry and her delicious bakes mean she is a dream colleague choice for one in ten.
Elon Musk, the controversial tech and space billionaire, and Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs were also a popular choice for famous office companions.
Panny Lawrence, founder and director of Areaworks, said: “It’s intriguing to see what makes the dream workspace for the nation’s office workers, and what is top of the list when it comes to furnishing and designing the ultimate space. Areaworks welcomes a wide range of professions and people to its working community. Although we can’t guarantee you’ll be sharing a space with Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, we have created the perfect space for the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.”
Like-minded people, those with complementary skills, and creatives were the qualities which Brits hold in highest regard when it comes to choosing a workspace.
Lawrence continues: “Traditional attitudes to what should be in a workplace are fast changing, as twice as many millennials would like office games such as table tennis and table football than their older counterparts.
“Happy and relaxed workers are likely to have increased productivity and motivation, as well as making more money and generally enjoying their work. Character and a sense of community are important for building successful businesses and make collaboration and commerce easier, and these are the core pillars of everything we do at Areaworks.”
Top 10 Dream Office Items
1. Kitchen facilities e.g. coffee machine, beer fridge
2. Outside space e.g. roof terrace, balcony
3. Casual seating e.g. bean bags, sofas & hanging chairs
5. Games e.g. table tennis, table football
6. Water feature
8. Sleeping pods
Top 10 Dream Office Companions
1. David Attenborough
2. Richard Branson
3. Will Smith
4. Michael McIntyre
5. Rachel Riley
6. Ryan Reynolds
7. Graham Norton
8. Steve Jobs
9. Mary Berry
10. Elon Musk