Workers were expected to work in specific ways using the furniture and equipment that was supplied for them. The average new office takes six years to design and construct and involves professionals from many disciplines including building contractors, architects, furniture manufacturers, and interior designers.

However, although this team of experts take time to formulate the most workable and attractive solution for the end user, the end users themselves are rarely asked to directly contribute.

The Senator Group decided to commission a survey to establish how we work in UK office environments, what tasks we undertake daily and how we differ individually. Two thousand UK office workers took part in the study; their gender, age, size of employer, sector and location were all taken into consideration.

The survey revealed that gender, location and the differing public and private sectors had very little effect on the way that people chose to work. However, one of the most interesting findings was that age and seniority played a large part in establishing our working preferences. It was found that seniority (linked largely to age) and the individual’s position within an organisation dictated how they wished to work.

When compared to clerical and administrative roles, senior managers and directors were far more likely to have the confidence to adopt a more relaxed posture when writing an email at a personal computer or presenting to a group. However, senior staff were also found to demand more privacy, having an expectation that they would carry out their daily duties in enclosed surroundings.

On the other hand, clerical workers were more likely to adopt the traditional posture associated with a desk and chair. They also chose desk level as the ideal height to operate at rather than standing, perching or reclining.