Almost half of architects say office clients ‘aren’t interested’ in end-user health and wellbeing

A fresh survey conducted by Oscar Acoustics suggests employee welfare is falling short when adapting workspaces for returning workers in offices.

It reveals 46 % of British architects cite significant challenges when making social distancing measures for office employees, with two out of five (42 %) feeling their office-owning clients aren’t thinking about end-user health and wellness. This is regardless of the offer of professional guidance in the beginning of reconfiguration projects.

The finding comes at the same time when social distancing and employee wellbeing are thought to be vital design considerations for post-Covid working environments. For companies struggling to obtain workers in to the office back, these total email address details are unlikely to help expand encourage staff. It had been recently reported that ‘ 1 / 2 of workers would quit should they had to return to any office five days weekly ’ showing that ‘office animosity’ has already reached fever pitch.

Oscar Acoustics, a provider of architectural acoustic finishes, conducted a survey of 206 architects concentrating on employee welfare recently. The outcomes exposed shockingly low degrees of consideration directed at Covid-19 safety precautions and acoustic health in corporate office spaces. Once we go to 2022, the implication is UK office buildings aren’t being properly adapted for returning workers’ physical and mental wellbeing.

On a practical level, smaller workplaces are proving problematic. Almost a third (29 %) of architects highlighted ‘limited space’ as a primary barrier to specifying adequate degrees of social distancing. For them, the best challenge when reconfiguring work place is designing-in break-out areas and meeting rooms (56 %). Specifically, 35 % of respondents felt fixed partition walls certainly are a major limitation to the successful reconfiguration of an office.

Furthermore, budgets for reconfiguration projects have emerged as too small, with two in five respondents (40 %) indicating penny-pinching as a significant obstacle when focusing on office fit-outs. The same number also flagged ‘inflexible existing finishes’ as another problem, compounded by restricted spend.

The survey explored how effective office redesigns are with regards to tackling excessive noise within working spaces.
Shockingly, given it’s a concern that may cause serious adverse health effects, just 9 % of architects believe that acoustic design is given the eye it deserves by their clients. Almost half (43 %) find clients to be unacquainted with their legal requirements for protecting employees beneath the Control of Noise at the job Regulations.

When asked to provide a reason because of this insufficient awareness or worse, apathy, over two-thirds of architects (67 %) say small design budgets are their biggest design challenge to achieving noise reduction.

Ben Hancock, Managing Director at Oscar Acoustics, said: “In the wake of the pandemic sufficient reason for the surge of returning workers in offices, it’s disappointing to note that some companies remain unacquainted with their responsibility to staff’s safe practices.

“The consequences of excessive noise could be a silent killer and it’s clear that the impact continues to be being underestimated. Studies have proven that excessive noise can raise the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes and the rise in office re-fits and refurbishments has given companies to be able to overcome these issues head-on. If companies are to ever keep coming back stronger than, then it starts with creating the proper environment for staff to thrive and feel relaxed.”

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