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The Workplace Advantage – thoughts on The Stoddart Review

The Workplace Advantage - Thoughts on the Stoddart Review
20th February 2017

The Workplace Advantage – thoughts on The Stoddart Review

The Stoddart Review is a UK-wide study that has recently been launched and looks at the role working environments play in organisational and UK productivity. The review seeks to encourage leaders to ask deeper and more probing questions on how well their workplaces are contributing to the success of their organisations.

What does the report say?

Workplace appraisal – improving productivity is essential to increase the profitability of businesses, yet companies are only now starting to look at the role that the workplace plays

  1. Workplace appraisal – improving productivity is essential to increase the profitability of businesses, yet companies are only now starting to look at the role that the workplace plays
  2. The office is alive and well – 91% of UK employees work solely from the office but does that gett the best out of them? Research shows that companies can no longer afford to ignore the performance lever that the workplace offers
  3. Leveraging the workplace industry – creating an office that enables productivity begins with asking the right questions
  4. Agility is essential to success – every business needs to behave like they are a fast-growth business
  5. Where technology fits in – smart businesses are creating smart workplaces which benefit their people

A key finding of the report was the eye-opening statistic that only 50% of those polled said that their workplace enables them to be productive. This is a startling finding – not just for the facilities management industry but for the wider UK business community and its workforce.

How does this impact our economy?

Economist Duncan Weldon looked at what impact there would be on the economy with a simple 1% uplift in productivity. This would add around £20 billion to the UK’s national output, reduce the annual government deficit by some £8 billion, add £250 a year to the average pay packet and increase national annual profits by almost £3.5 billion, according to Weldon’s calculations. As Weldon says in the report – small rises in productivity are far from trivial, and having an effective workplace is key.

We need to look at all aspects of the workplace from the usage by employees to the technology, to the ongoing development of the workplace as an ever-growing and developing organism.

The role of facilities management

The report ends by asking if businesses can afford to ignore the opportunity cost of an effective workplace. The answer is no. This is an issue not just facing the facilities management industry but the wider UK business community.

However, facilities management professionals can, and should, do more to help deliver a high-performing workplace. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer though. We have to be flexible, plan carefully, ensure we are collecting and using feedback from end users, and regularly measure the impact of workplaces of the people that use them.

What are we doing?

At Interserve we’re leading a comprehensive research project to define, understand and apply the science behind designing effective workplaces which supports the aims of The Stoddart Review to encourage leaders to consider the extent that the workplace best supports its employees.

Working in partnership with leading workplace change experts Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) we are exploring how organisations can better understand the link between working environments and commercial success. This is a two-year research programme with a series of research-led reports being published. Two reports have been published so far with a third being released in January 2017. This upcoming report will detail how to deliver the workplace experience.

You can read previously issued AWA reports here, and you can download The Stoddart Review in full here.

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