UK businesses need to seize the opportunity to trigger an ‘office renaissance’ that will help make a fundamental improvement to company performances.

LONDON, 11th JUNE 2015 – Steelcase, the world leader in the provision of high performance workplace solutions, celebrated the official re-opening of its newly designed WorkLife in London today.

To mark the occasion, Steelcase held a ‘Power of Place’ event at which Steelcase’s Guillaume Alvarez, Senior Vice President Sales, EMEA and Bostjan Ljubic, Vice President Regional Sales, UK and Ireland revealed how UK businesses can seize the opportunity to trigger an ‘office renaissance’ to support worker engagement and wellbeing to increase organisational performance.

According to Gallup’s “State of the global Workplace Report”, worldwide 87 percent of employed people are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, which means that they’re emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and thus less likely to be productive. The report says that in the United Kingdom 83 percent of workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” and the resulting cost is high for countries as well as companies. In the UK, actively disengaged employees cost the country between £52 billion and £70 billion per year. Conversely, engaged employees are more productive, have lower turnover rates, lower absenteeism and drive higher profits – they’re what every organisation needs to thrive.

Mr Ljubic pointed out that the UK’s economy recovery was widely admired across Europe and beyond but there are new challenges for businesses. Organisations strive to attract and retain the best people and gain the edge over their competitors. According to Ljubic, in the UK, where floor plans for offices are the smallest in EMEA, a need for well-designed spaces to avoid overcrowding is even more essential to allow businesses to thrive. This is especially the case in London - one of the most expensive cities for real estate – where organisations have to be smart and creative when it comes to their offices.

The Power of Place – creating destinations

Gallup’s findings indicate that one important way to help boost employee engagement is to focus on their wellbeing. Recent Steelcase studies have shown that place matters: the physical work environment can have a strong impact on employee wellbeing and engagement.

“The key is to design the workplace as an ecosystem of interconnected and interdependent places that support the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of people, and give them choice and control over where and how they work. Control and choice is not only a significant component in building engagement; it has also become the new status symbol for today’s workers”, said Ljubic. Within this ecosystem there also needs to be a palette of postures, presence and privacy. “When designing the new WorkLife in London we used our insights to create a space that supports the wellbeing of people”, says Ljubic. “Today it supports all work modes an employee may occupy throughout the day. The space both offers standing desks, normal desk heights and lounge seating, connects the local teams with their colleagues all over the world through smart technologies and offers a variety of open, shielded and enclosed spaces that address the needs of privacy seekers, while a kitchen supports informal exchange.

“The key to employee engagement is bringing people together with a sense of purpose in a place that will help them achieve their best work,” says Ljubic. “But this cannot happen in yesterday’s office. What’s needed today is an office renaissance. This means reimagining the workplace and creating places where employees choose to work—not because they have to but because they want to.”

About Steelcase Inc.

For over 100 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world's leading organizations, across industries. We demonstrate this through our family of brands – including Steelcase® and Coalesse®. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 800 dealer locations. Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2015 revenue of $3.1 billion.

Find out more about Steelcase Solutions by viewing their company profile, here.

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