What Are The Biggest Drivers Of Office Workers Dissatisfaction?

Resource Centre Sound Masking What Are The Biggest Drivers Of Office Workers Dissatisfaction?
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With more and more employers placing attention on wellbeing in the workplace, getting to know the biggest drivers of office workers dissatisfaction is a good place to start.

In 2019, we conducted a survey to determine some of the biggest drivers of office workers dissatisfaction, with a particular focus on noise levels and wellbeing. From a lack of speech privacy to noise distractions impacting productivity, in this article we’re taking a closer look at how these issues drive workplace dissatisfaction.

Noise distractions affecting productivity

Productivity levels across the UK have fallen to a dramatic low, as 38% of office workers call on their employers to do more to improve their work environment to boost productivity, morale and overall well-being.

But what was cited as affecting productivity?

Noise distractions appeared to contribute a huge amount to lack of productivity. In Remark’s Noise and Wellbeing at Work survey, 54% of UK office workers reported that noise is an issue at work.

Interestingly it was sudden bursts of noise that employees found most distracting at work compared to a constant background buzz.

So background music kept at the same volume or the gentle hum of technology was not typically as much of a distraction. However, shrieks of laughter and conversations of variable volume were more of an issue.

Silence in the workplace can be equally distracting

However, complete silence can be just as distracting as loud environments, as they can highlight the sudden noise disturbances. Offices that are too quiet could also become a little dull, boring or tedious for your more extroverted employees, providing increased distractions.

Lack of speech privacy

Almost two thirds of UK office workers say that they suffer from a lack of privacy at work.

If an environment is too quiet, this can cause problems if employees become less confident or forthcoming in communicating. Not only will this cause a decrease in workplace wellbeing, it could also impact work productivity if issues are not being communicated and addressed.

Workers surveyed also reported that they were worried about overhearing information that they weren’t supposed to be privy to, meaning they weren’t just concerned about being overheard themselves.

Being listened to whilst on the phone was reported as an annoyance. But for some employees who need to take a private phone call during the day, not having access to a private space could impact their comfort.

Noisy environments increasing stress levels

There are plenty of factors that can cause your employees to experience stress, but our survey identified that too many noise distractions was a stress trigger. In fact, 58% of UK office workers reported that noise has a high impact on their stress levels in the workplace.

Stress is not just a mental health issue, too much exposure to stressful stimuli can also impact your employee’s physical health. Over time this could result in a demoralised workforce and an increase in absences from the office. That’s why it’s important to make sure your environment is not causing stress, especially if it’s something you can control.

But what can you do about it?

Once you’ve identified the problems in your office you’ll want to know what you can do about them. If noise is an issue, due to a lack of privacy or too much distracting noises, there are a few changes you can make.

You can adjust the layout and spacing to create a more harmonious mix of private work spaces and collaborative areas. Another option you can consider is sound masking. This acoustic technology provides a gentle, consistent ambient sound which makes distracting noises and private conversations less intelligible. This combats the issue of noise and lack of privacy - two of the biggest drivers of office workers dissatisfaction.

To find out more about sound masking, contact Remark Group today.