UK office workers are suffering from vocation frustration

vocation frustration
© Antonio Guillem |

A new report from Staples has discovered that office workers in UK are suffering from vocation frustration. 97% feel frustrated in their work environments, with many feeling the need to escape office life as a result

For those who can’t get out of the rat run, one-in-five (22%) end up browsing LinkedIn job ads for something better when they’re frustrated.[i] Job-hopping is prolific, with workers now predicted to have 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48.[ii] The expectation that the grass must be greener elsewhere is leaving most thinking about switching jobs. However, when they do end up jumping ship, many just experience a short-term fix. According to the study, a third (37%) get frustrated in their new office before the end of their first six months.

Robert Baldrey, UK managing director, at Staples commented,Workplace frustrations are tempting workers to seek a new role with a better office environment. After all – why stay somewhere, if you think a different role in a different office will help you feel more fulfilled? The findings of this study demonstrate an important connection between the physical workspace and how people feel at work. And, with so many office workers getting easily frustrated, it’s clear that too many workspaces are currently not up to scratch.”

The majority of office workers say they seek fulfilment (89%) at work, and for most (77%), the quality of their office workspace is a contributing factor in how fulfilled they feel. Furthermore, with three-quarters (76%) of office workers agreeing that a well-functioning and attractive office workplace would encourage better staff retention, the study demonstrates a link between the office workspace, the people in it, and their inclination to stay put.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, the expert in organisational psychology at the Alliance Manchester Business School commented, Most people spend more of their waking hours at work than at home, so the workplace is really important for the health, wellbeing and performance of employees.  As this report finds, 89% seek fulfilment at work, and the physical and psychological environment are critical to achieve this. How you are managed (by praise and reward instead of fault-finding), reasonable hours of work and flexible working if required, and a good quality office environment are all fundamental to enhancing job satisfaction. The physical environment is important not only because it makes the job experience fulfilling, but also because it says to employees ‘we care about you’.”

Baldrey, continued,There is clearly an opportunity for employers to make things better for everyone involved. Getting the office space right – whether that’s with the right equipment, the right layout, or the right supplies – can go a long way to reducing day-to-day office gripes. Of course, new stationery or office chairs aren’t the solution to helping your employees feel fulfilled. That would be too simple. But fixing the physical workspace is a good place to start.”


For information about the study, visit and download the report Vocation frustration – Europe’s office workers on the brink.


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