OAKLAND, Calif., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Ask.com, a leading online brand for questions and answers, today announced the results of its Office Workplace Productivity study, which reveals the preferences and habits of American office workers when it comes to an optimally productive workplace environment.
Among the key findings: 86 percent of respondents1 prefer to work alone to hit maximum productivity, suggesting that, while group-oriented workplace perks like foosball and bean bag lounges have become popular tools for unlocking creativity and boosting morale, they don’t always drive efficiency. Additionally, the preference to work from home isn’t as prevalent as it may seem; a majority of respondents prefer to spend “focus time” in their personal workspace (63 percent) as compared to those who’d rather work at home (29 percent).
The study was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ask.com among 2,060 adults ages 18 and older in March 2013.
“This research gives us broader context when thinking about the workplace culture we’re trying to foster,” said Lisa Ross , vice president of human resources at Ask.com. “It also yielded some unexpected findings. For example, while working from home policies have been hotly debated in the media, it appears most office workers actually prefer working in an office environment, as long as companies facilitate focus time and minimize distractions.”
The study indicates that distractions tend to come in the form of noisy colleagues (61 percent). In addition to cherishing alone time, it appears many office employees who have a boss need distance from their managers, with 20 percent saying they would prefer to have more work responsibilities than sit alongside their bosses. Even when colleagues are nearby, nearly one-half (46 percent) of respondents report they mostly communicate with them through IM, e-mail or phone over face-to-face interaction. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents signal meeting fatigue, claiming to spend more time in meetings discussing work than actually executing it.
Detailed findings from the report include:
Do Not Disturb
Survey findings indicate employees like easy accessibility to their broader team, but cherish uninterrupted focus time.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
While the survey indicates clear focus time is critical, team interaction is as well. With the potential longevity of cube and office mates, it’s no wonder employees have strong preferences when it comes to personal workspace and seating configurations.
“Face-time and group collaboration are critical to success, but it’s interesting to see the significant value placed on fostering concentration and limiting outside static,” continued Ross. “It’s important for today’s employers to adapt environments to effectively strike that balance.”
With more than 100 million global users, Ask.com is the leading online brand for questions and answers and an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). Now available as a mobile service, Ask.com mobile apps have been downloaded more than 3 million times. More information is available at www.ask.com or http://blog.ask.com.
This survey was conducted online within the United States between March 26-28, 2013 among 2,060 adults ages 18 and over (of whom 603 work in an office setting) by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery® omnibus product on behalf of Ask.com. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For more information on the findings, go to http://blog.ask.com/.
1 Respondents and employees noted in the Office Workplace Productivity press release refer to base respondents of 603 U.S. adults who work in an office setting and gave an applicable response