UK businesses are in the grip of a negativity epidemic, according to research from Sharp that has revealed over two thirds (63%) of office workers feel negatively about their workplace, with outdated ways of working causing low morale and low motivation across the country.
The survey of 6,000 office workers across Europe showed that people in the UK were the most likely to describe their working environment as uninspiring (34% versus European average of 28%), with some also choosing to describe it as ‘grim’, ‘oppressive’ and ‘toxic’. A quarter of workers said their office was quiet and 23 per cent said it was boring. Only 17% per cent would describe their environment as motivating.
Asked why they described their office in this way, a third blamed outdated and frustrating ways of working (35%), while a quarter said that too long is spent on boring admin tasks (24%) and 23 per cent said that everyone communicates over email, instead of talking.
Technology in the workplace was also identified as a major pain point, with just over half (51%) of respondents saying it is restrictive and limiting. The average UK worker was found to get frustrated at their office tech three times a day, or 16 times over a working week – driving 32 per cent to pretend something was broken so they could avoid using it, and 41 per cent to use their personal devices instead.
Millennial workers (defined as those born after 1982), were more likely than the other age groups to say that they would be more motivated if their office had up to date technology (43%). However, 45 per cent of this same age group, despite having no experience of working life without computers and the internet, sometimes avoid using the technology in their office because it is too complicated.
Stuart Sykes, Managing Director, Sharp UK said, “making sure everyone feels motivated is important for creating a happy workplace, where people want to and can do their best work. Technology only improves motivation if it’s helpful and easy to use; otherwise it becomes a de-motivator, either not being used, or worse, causing frustration. Look at the tools you use, the tools you need and make those improvements that help people enjoy coming to work.
“Within the next 10 years, Millennials will make up the majority of our workforce, so it’s important that we learn from the younger workers, welcome new ideas and new insights, and provide smarter technology that is as easy to use as consumer devices.”
To learn more about the research, and how you can unlock a more motivated workplace with expert tips from Stefan Haefliger, Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation at Cass Business School visit: www.sharp.co.uk/unlock