How people think they use their workspace rarely aligns with how they actually use it. In many businesses, shared facilities lie vacant for days while people complain that there isn’t enough space to be productive. They rely on their desks and nearby meeting rooms because there is no real alternative suited to their actual working needs.
At Spacelab, we’ve surveyed over 14,000 employees, carried out in-depth interviews with more than 300 department heads, and observed nearly 22,000 desks to reveal trends in the complex relationship between the workplace as experienced by its inhabitants and as observed and analysed by a third party. In this three-part series, we’ll be exposing the most common employee misconceptions.
Misconception #1: “I need my own desk.”
For many employees, their desks provide their only access to a computer, storage or informal meeting space.
In fact, for most businesses, people rarely spend more than 50% of the working week at their desks. In several cases, we have found that staff can be at their desks for less than a third of the week.
So what are people doing when they’re not at their desks? They’re in meetings, collaborating together on tasks, sharing knowledge or ideas with team members, travelling, visiting clients, attending conferences or events, working from home, or using quiet-working spaces.
Our conclusion? Most people working in most businesses don’t need their own desk to succeed in their roles.