Nine Out of 10 Employees Link Workspace Design to Productivity

A new survey initiated by Microsoft Hardware found the U.S. work force is spending more time in front of the computer than ever, and that the majority of employees link the design of their workspace to their productivity level.

While one in three office computer users indicated they spend between four and six hours a day using the computer, nearly half said they were spending eight or more hours a day at the computer.

These survey results reflect the current workplace trend of employers placing greater demands on their existing work force to drive productivity and profits. At the same time that hiring remains stagnant, U.S. Department of Labor statistics show productivity gains in the past 2 years mark the best back-to-back growth in worker output in five decades. This change in focus has employers and their employees seeking new ways to work more efficiently as they strive to meet business goals.

"Companies are needing to do more with less," said Hugh McLoone, product ergonomist and usability researcher at Microsoft Hardware. "In an environment where every increase in work-force productivity has an important impact on the bottom line, well-designed workstations including ergonomically designed keyboards and mice can go a long way toward helping employees succeed and businesses thrive."

Nearly two-thirds of office computer users tie the fatigue they experience during the week to working at the computer for long periods. In addition, nine out of 10 said the design setup of their workstation directly affects their ability to be most productive at work.

More than 50 percent of those surveyed said one of the best ways employers can show their commitment to employees' success is to provide them with the latest technologies so they can do their jobs more efficiently. This compares with 23 percent who said they would prefer motivational tools such as morale-building and social outings, and 16 percent who would opt for perks such as free soda and parking, which are commonly offered in workplaces today.

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