The way we work is changing at a pace that has rarely been seen before. Huge changes in the way that we work have followed from technological developments (e.g. the internet) as well as broader changes in what we produce (e.g. the shift from manufacturing to knowledge work). Although the way we work has changed, the way that offices are designed has failed to keep pace. Many offices are still designed in ways reminiscent of factory floors: rows of desks with occasional meeting rooms alongside. Against this backdrop, this report reveals some headline statistics about the way we are working and makes the case for office change to more suitable models.
- On average, 59% of desks have nobody sitting at them.
- 28% of desks are completely unused, even at the busiest point observed in the office.
- The average meeting room is used for 39% of the time. Only 20% are used for more than 50% of the time.
- 32% of desks are used for only 35-40% of the time.
This means that offices need radical change. If they continue along this trajectory, huge amounts of space is being wasted that could be put to better use. If employees are not using all of their desks, why provide them? Organisations should be adopting a more innovative approach to office design, examining in detail what is actually needed in the office and using data to inform design. UnWork is well placed to assist with this need through experience working with different organisations all over the world and a strong, data-centric approach to workplace enhancement.
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