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Optimising workplace performance: key findings and practical steps

Interserve - Optimise workplace performance
31 July 2018

key findings and practical steps to create and manage high performing work spaces

As we reach the end of our research series with Advanced Workplace Associates  – Workplace experiences: The science series, we’ve published this final report to bring our findings together into a practical guide and toolkit to understand and shape high performing working environments.

At the start of our research project we set out to understand how the world of work is changing, how businesses are responding and how the physical space can be used as a productivity tool. We wanted to really interrogate the science behind how people work: to identify how the physical environment affects employee and business performance and, ultimately, how it can be harnessed to drive greater productivity.

During the course of the research we’ve published five reports indentifying key findings that reconsider the workplace as a performance enhancer rather than just a physical space:

    1. Businesses need to understand employees as consumers of the workplace to get the most out of their teams. The working environment needs to reflect social and demographic trends seen in the wider world.

    2. Successful businesses need to understand how workers respond to their environment, shaping the workplace accordingly to ensure they attract, retain and develop the best talent.

    3. Forward-thinking businesses need to create a coherent strategy for the workplace, setting objectives and goals that align with the business’ brand.

    4. The workplace experience is not a one-off event but an ongoing process which needs careful management to remain successful.


With this understanding we then identified six practical areas for businesses to focus on that supports them to use the workplace as a competitive advantage:

    1. Establish a strategy for the workplace which aligns with commercial objectives.

    2. Coordinate delivery of the workplace across existing silos to engender a ‘one team’ approach.

    3. Ensure that the workplace acts as an extension of the business’ brand.

    4. Empower the workplace team to act as integrators, not just facilitators and provide them with the digital tools to do so.

    5. Invest in technology to manage and measure workplace performance.

    6. Set up the workplace for success through intelligent procurement.


Overall, our research project has shown that the world of business continues to advance and change rapidly. Creating better working environments requires a new approach and direction from senior decision makers - seeing it as a central element of a commercial strategy rather than simply a square foot cost.





During our workplace experience research project, together with Advanced Workplace Associates, we: defined the concept of the workplace experience; presented the best available science on knowledge-worker productivity, cognitive performance and consumer experience design; offered guidelines on how to best design successful working environments; and looked at the consumer world to identify how to engender brand loyalty and build relationships that keeps our employees committed and happy.

You can read all five of our reports here. You can also read more on workplace experience here.



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