· News

Lack of employer trust affecting staff morale

Employees don't feel they are trusted with the autonomy to manage where and when they work

One in five (19%) employees feel their company does not trust them, despite the high value that staff place on trust and autonomy, according to a survey from design consultancy Peldon Rose.

The poll of 600 UK employees found that a third (33%) wished they were more trusted by their employer to manage how and when they work. Although 59% of staff reported they work most productively in the office, 42% said that their office and workplace culture do not support flexible working.

When it came to creating a harmonious and happy workplace for employees, the main factors were colleagues and peers (76%), followed by a good relationship with the boss (68%), and the office environment (66%).

However, despite the office's impact on staff happiness, employees often felt excluded from decisions to improve their working environment. More than half (52%) said they are not involved in planned changes to the office, 50% are not asked how satisfied they are with the space, 49% are not questioned about how they use the office, and 48% are not consulted on problems with the office.

Jitesh Patel, chief executive at Peldon Rose, highlighted the importance of trust in an organisation. “We know that in the workplace employees look for relationships built on trust, as it helps to create a supportive and safe environment,” he said. “They also want a culture that fosters autonomy; allowing them to manage their own workflow and have the freedom to work where and when suits them."

He added that there is a discrepancy between what keeps employees motivated at work versus the current provision. “For employers, this should be seen as an opportunity to create a culture that promotes trust and develops autonomous thinkers,” he said. “When employees feel they have control over their work and have the ability to make choices on balancing their work and life they will not only spend more time in the office, but when they are present they will be more productive, happier and engaged.”