News - April 5, 2019

Unhappy about noisy offices and work pressure

WUR staff are generally pretty satisfied, according to the latest Employee Monitor. However, they are not always able to work undisturbed in the office and they say the pressure of work is still too high.

The poorest scores for ‘being able to work undisturbed’ are given for departments with open-plan offices, such as in Radix. Foto © Guy Ackermans

In the survey, being able to work undisturbed when necessary scored a 5.7 on a scale of 1 to 10. So it scraped a pass, but was still half a point down on the previous monitor two years ago. Staff say the workplace doesn’t exactly help your productivity (5.6) or collaboration with others (6.2). The figures fit with the irritation caused by the open-plan offices that WUR Council revealed last month.

Open-plan offices
The poorest scores for ‘being able to work undisturbed’ were for Corporate Staff, Facilities & Services and the Plant Sciences Group (PSG), units where hot desking and open-plan offices have been introduced at least to some extent. Interestingly, the workplace as a whole scores a comfortable 7.

Most content: Facilities & Services
The monitor shows that WUR employees are generally content people. We give our work, our colleagues and the organization a healthy 7. Facilities & Services stands out in particular. It scores just under 8 for most of the nine aspects that were measured, such as enthusiasm, commitment and atmosphere at work. The Social Sciences Group (SSG) scores less than the WUR average but still gets a 7.

Pressure of work
The pressure of work is the other big issue apart from noisy workplaces. Four out of ten employees say the pressure is too high. As many as half the employees at SSG and the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) feel this way. Jophan Kanis (Human Resources) says further research is planned to find out more about the work pressure.

Inappropriate behaviour
Another striking result concerns inappropriate behaviour. One in ten employees experienced some form of inappropriate behaviour in the past year. The figure for Rikilt is 13 per cent. The most common forms are verbal violence, bullying and discrimination.