“Inequality crisis” in the workplace as survey shows over a quarter of UK offices don’t have sufficient access for wheelchair users
A new survey, which went out to more than 1,000 workers across the UK, has revealed that 27 percent of offices don’t have sufficient access for wheelchair users.
Workspace design specialist Penketh Group carried out the survey in conjunction with YouGov. Data was collected from workers across the UK based in different roles, sectors and working environments.
The findings point toward an “inequality crisis” in the workplace and Penketh Group says businesses need to do more to become more inclusive in the future.
Chris Birchall, Workplace Strategist at Penketh Group, said: “The results from our survey are deeply concerning. They shed more light on the inequality crisis that is apparent in the UK workplace today, especially for people with physical disabilities.
“Businesses need to realise that inclusivity is more than just a box-ticking exercise. If they want to get the best from the workforce, they need to start catering for all employees, regardless of their physical ability and fully understand what they need to do their jobs.”
The survey shows that a third of workers want wheelchair access to be improved in their workplace. Findings also reveal that 30 percent of 18 to 24-year also think their workplace doesn’t cater for people with varying physical abilities.
Despite the findings, Chris said that he has seen an increase in businesses being aware of workplace issues regarding inclusivity.
He addesd: “We’ve certainly noticed clients picking up on more workplace issues, which lead back to inclusivity – even if they can’t explicitly name or identify what it is they’re referring to. Businesses are becoming more aware of the need to provide for staff from all different walks of life and the benefits this brings about, but more needs to be done.”
The survey was completed as part of the report Inclusive Workplaces: The Future of Office Design & Culture. Published in November 2019, the report is a review of how workplaces today are catering for an increasingly diverse workforce to determine what businesses should be doing to become more inclusive in the future.