GCC workforce demands more flexible office designs

More than 75% of respondents to RICS and MECO’s Middle East Office Productivity Survey feel that to be more productive, they need more flexibility in their working environment

Over three quarters of respondents to the RICS and MECO survey said that greater flexibility in office design would improve their productivity.
Over three quarters of respondents to the RICS and MECO survey said that greater flexibility in office design would improve their productivity.

More than 75% of respondents to the Middle East Office Productivity Survey feel that in order to be more productive, they need more flexibility in their working environment.

Of those surveyed, 40% said that they suffer from noise disturbance and over half (51%) reported feeling seriously impacted by interruptions.

More than two thirds (37%) of Middle East respondents said a lack of environmental control – including access to air-conditioning settings – negatively affected their productivity.

The survey was conducted by Professor Nick Nunnington of Nottingham Trent University and Dr Barry Haynes of Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Middle East Council of Offices (MECO).

The report’s authors spoke to more than 500 office workers across the Middle East region to understand their working habits, motivations, likes and dislikes, and general working environment.

Commenting on the research, Robert Jackson, managing director – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at RICS, said: Whilst similar surveys have been conducted in many other parts of the world, in the Middle East we have unique employee demographics and cultural diversity.

“We are keen to support the research as it is fundamental in capturing what works in this very specific market,” he added.

Other factors that respondents identified as adversely impacting their productivity included internal noise from other employees (39%), waiting for a lift (38%), a lack of quiet areas (34%), and a lack of informal meeting and break-out areas (33%).

When asked to name a single change that would improve productivity, environmental comfort was the most common response.

For more information about the findings of the Middle East Office Productivity Survey, and to download the survey, visit the RICS website.

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