Trust and autonomy boosts staff productivity

14 November 2017. Features.

Many UK workers rate relationships with employers and colleagues that are built on trust and autonomy as increasingly important in keeping them productive and happy in the workplace, yet many offices are failing to provide employees with the resources and support they need to manage their workload and keep them motivated.

Our 2017 summer survey found that although most staff feel that they work most productively in the workplace, their current office culture and environment does not support the value they place on trust and autonomy. For employers, this should be seen as an opportunity to implement office changes that will create a more productive, happier and engaged workforce.

Here are four recommendations on how to build trust and create autonomous thinkers in the workplace.

Emphasise the need for feedback

Staff are aware of what impacts their productivity and efficiency during the work day, yet our research shows that they are rarely included in office wide decisions, including planned changes to their office environment or their satisfaction with the office. Employers should place an emphasis on engaging with employees and creating an open dialogue about the company, including its long-term strategy and the office environment, to ensure that employees understand the rationale behind decisions, feel consulted in the process and are provided with the opportunity to share their opinions.

Provide the environment for employees to thrive

Although the desire to work remotely remains popular among UK workers, the majority of staff report that they work most productively in the office and that, in fact, working outside the office makes them feel disconnected, isolated and lonely. With this in mind, employers must ensure they provide their staff with the environment and amenities they need to remain motivated, coupled with the tools and technology needed to work agile in the workplace. Incorporating outdoor spaces, lounge areas and IT infrastructure, including Wi-Fi and laptops, will work to accommodate employees’ individual needs while in the office.

Create a culture of autonomy

Despite reporting that they are most productive in the office, nearly half of those surveyed say their current workplace does not have a positive impact on their happiness. On top of this, a third of people wish they were trusted more by their employers to manage their own workload and have again stated the importance of having a culture that encourages them to work autonomously. To accommodate this desire for more independent working, employers must create an internal cultural shift that promotes trust and autonomous working, allowing staff to work where and when it suits them.

Promote working relationships among colleagues 

Our latest happy office survey revealed that the factors that keep employees happiest in the workplace are their colleagues and peers, followed by a good relationship with their boss and the office environment. Employers should promote working relationships by creating opportunities for staff to spend more time with their colleagues by providing them with office facilities that make them more inclined to spend more time in the office. In fact, two thirds of employees say they would spend more time in the office if extra facilities were provided, with about one in five saying they would spend more than two hours per day. Incorporating facilities like a coffee bar, gym or showers will encourage staff to bond and create a supportive, social environment.


If your business is looking to create a productive and rewarding culture in your office, please contact us and we would be happy to see how we can help.



Share this article