knowledge centre > statistics revealed new uk workplace issues survey

Statistics revealed from our new UK Workplace Issues survey

When it comes to strategic office design and product selection, there is way more to it than just aesthetics and the latest trends.

It’s about configuring a workspace layout and picking out the right inventory of office furniture and technology which is going to boost productivity, enhance workplace wellbeing and inspire a more creative and collaborative working environment.

As part of our bespoke interior design service, we dedicate ourselves to ongoing research around workplace issues which can be solved through office fit out, furniture and technology.

To supplement this, we recently carried out a new UK Workplace Issues Survey to gain a better insight into the common problems impacting offices around the country right now.

Here’s what we found…

Infographic showing statistics about UK workplace issues from Manchester office fit out company Penketh Group

Negative atmosphere is the biggest issue in the North West

A substantial 38% of those surveyed said that a negative atmosphere in the office has a significant impact on their ability to work.

Although this was a top problem across the board, it proved to be particularly prolific in the North West.

Interruptions are having a negative impact in the South West

The biggest issue cited by those respondents from the South West of the country was interruption and distraction.

From our extensive experience with this, we understand that this can come in the form of noise distraction, visual distraction or disrupted meetings due to room booking overlaps.

Uncomfortable working positions a problem in Scotland

Survey participants in Scotland highlighted uncomfortable working positions as their most common workplace grievance.

This could include poorly designed furniture, outdated desks or a lack of diverse work settings which cater for a range of working styles, device usage and postures.

Woman in jeans and brown boots sitting on purple and grey stool working on a laptop in an office

Some other points of interest:

  • 34% agree that slow WiFi is one of their biggest office grievances
  • 27% were affected by the office temperature being too high
  • 70% of those surveyed work in an open plan office
  • The majority of respondents were between the ages of 26 and 35

Chris Birchall, Workspace Strategist here at Penketh Group said:

“Although the statistics are concerning, they aren’t surprising.

“We’re confronted by these exact workplace issues every single day as clients come to us looking for furniture, design and tech solutions to combat them.

“Whenever we begin a new space-planning or furniture supply project, the very first thing we do is sit down with the customer to identify any issues such as the office distractions, negative atmosphere and poor ergonomics our respondents have highlighted.

“We do this preliminary research through one-to-one conversations, workshops or even surveys so we are then able to create a bespoke design scheme which helps alleviate these common problems.”

Young professionals working around a blue high table in a modern office workspace

More than 40% say workplace issues make them want to quit their jobs

Of those workers from various regions across the UK, a vast 41% agreed that workplace issues were enough to make them consider leaving their jobs.

When drilling down into this issue further, we discovered that this is a result of office grievances hindering productivity, lowering mood and causing frustration on a regular basis.

Our expert advice…

Physical environment quite clearly has a huge effect on attitude and behaviour, which is why office fit out and interior design elements are so crucial.

So, how would we solve these workplace issues?

Problem: A negative atmosphere or working environment which can lower morale and have a detrimental effect on mental wellbeing and motivation.


Social spaces are one of the best ways to boost creativity in the workplace

Problem: Uncomfortable working positions caused by poorly designed furniture or a lack of diverse facilities.


  • Introduce ergonomic office chairs such as the Steelcase Gesture chair
  • Consider implementing sit and stand desks to improve blood flow and posture
  • Facilitate agile working to encourage more physical movement throughout the day

Problem: Visual or noise distractions and general interruptions causing low concentration and poor communication lines.


  • Take advantage of office acoustic solutions to minimise excess noise
  • Introduce an electronic room booking system like Reserva
  • Provide plenty of private spaces for individual focus and concentration
  • Use screen dividers and room dividers to block out visual distractions
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