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Christmas time, Mistletoe and Whine….

Forget the hangover - New study reveals the nation’s biggest hang-ups when it comes to modern office life

This week is traditionally the most popular week for companies to host their annual Christmas party.  It’s probably the one day of the year that office workers will be spending more ‘face time’ together but, a new study of 2,000 UK adults reveals that we’d rather spend less time meeting up with colleagues for a number of reasons.

The new study commissioned by leading hotel brand, Radisson Blu, has revealed that almost half of the nation (43%) leave most meetings feeling that they were pointless, and 67% of office workers believe that they could do their jobs just as well without going to any meetings at all. However, at the most popular time of the year for company get-togethers, worryingly over a third (37%) of office workers admit to feeling nervous when interacting with colleagues – which may explain why a tipple or two helps co-workers socialise better.  

The findings also highlight more general work hang-ups with bad hygiene and constant complaining being the top 2 most annoying co-worker habits. Furthermore, management buzzwords and jargon are revealed as the nation’s biggest gripes when attending a meeting. Though it’s not just the office environment that can disrupt our everyday lives. When conducting business away from the office, over a quarter (28%) of working Brits admit they have been inconvenienced by taking a call on the toilet or on packed public transport.  

When you combine your average 9-5 day with your office Christmas party, it is likely you’ll end up spending up to 13 hours in one day with your colleagues. So when you spend a significant amount of time both with your colleagues and in meetings, how do you create the perfect office environment?  
• Host meetings in the morning, where the findings show that productivity is highest. Yes, even after the office party.  
• Host meetings face-to-face. The study found that 65% of office workers think face-to-face meetings are more productive than conference calls. Indeed, 23% of the nation admitted to being easily distracted and bored during tech-based interactions and a further 13% admitted to just making meaningless doodles instead of taking notes during conference calls.
•Think about hosting get-togethers in an ‘enhanced’ meeting room environment. To prove this, Radisson Blu tasked twenty-five groups of volunteers with completing a number of activities around creativity, intelligence and judgement.  These were conducted within three everyday meeting scenarios, including a video conference call, sitting in a standard meeting room and within an ‘enhanced’ meeting room environment. The results concluded that when meeting face to face in an enhanced meeting room, idea generation produced a return on investment that was 61% higher than a video conference call, and 31% than a standard meeting room.  

As meetings are such an important part of professional working life, it’s crucial that businesses offer meetings that maximise productivity and benefit workers. The Radisson Blu study indicates that creating the right environment, meeting scenario and hosting at the right time of day greatly affects the productivity of the meeting… which at this time of year might be especially helpful.

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