British workers shun fancy silicon valley-style offices

Revealed: features of the UK’s dream office

Just seven per cent of workers would want posh sleeping pods, a la Capital One

Workers simply want windows that open, separate dining spaces and greenery

SLIDES, sleeping pods and ping pong tables may be popular in Silicon Valley offices, but Brits have very different ideas about their dream office environments, according to new research.

A survey of 1,096 British workers, including both home workers and those who work from their employers’ premises, by and published in the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers Report, revealed that while employees at companies such as Capital One can enjoy ‘sleeping nooks’ in which to take rest breaks during the day, less than one in ten (seven per cent) British workers would like sleeping pods in their ideal office.

And while Google’s headquarters feature slides, basketball courts and grown up playground equipment, just eight per cent of UK workers described them as a key component of their dream office.

Only eight per cent of British workers were interested in social media office enhancements, such as the selfie booths as seen in the offices of fashion retailer, Missguided.

Research revealed that in fact all workers really wanted was simple environmental enhancements, such as windows that open to provide fresh air during the working day (49 per cent), and separate eating areas (44 per cent) in which to enjoy their meals away from their desks, in a relaxing social environment.

Having plants and greenery in the workplace, to cleanse the air, was third most popular (40 per cent) for office workers.

Andrew Davies, spokesperson for, commented: “I’m sure for many employers this research will provide reassurance that they needn’t be trying to live up to the offices of companies like Google and Capital One, and can instead focus on simple creature comforts.

“Employers who are looking to retain existing and possibly attract new employees should ensure their office and working environment is appealing to staff. They can achieve this by introducing simple environmental enhancements such as break out areas, flexible workspaces and a fully functioning kitchen. Our research shows workers aren’t looking for flashy, whacky workspaces, but simple and functional features.

“A more appealing working environment can have positive effects on productivity, employee engagement and wellbeing. And as such, many companies are open to the idea of blowing budgets on updating working environments, however this research shows that this isn’t necessary in order to achieve a happy workforce.”

The top ten environmental enhancements which appear in UK workers’ dream offices:

  1. Windows that open – 49 per cent
  2. Separate eating areas – 44 per cent
  3. Plants and flowers – 40 per cent
  4. Chill out zones – 37 per cent
  5. Fully working kitchens– 29 per cent
  6. Standing desks/workspaces – 10.3 per cent
  7. Flexible ‘hot desk’ workspaces – 10.1 per cent
  8. Social media-friendly environmental enhancements (e.g. selfie booths) – 8.3 per cent
  9. Grown up playground/park equipment – e.g. slides – 8.2 per cent
  10. Sleeping pods/spaces – 7.7 per cent