It's encouraging to see that the workplace is beginning to be seen as an element of the organisation that adds value, rather than simply as a cost. Property directors now prefer "soft" measures that link to employee productivity. This is however a set of metrics that interrelate in a complex way.

Good coffee and a comfy chair are important for people. Noise levels, social interaction, and comfortable temperature are important too - and research is showing that it is harder to achieve consensus on these. Your gender, age, extraversion/introversion and job role are all factors.

And none of these things matter if your IT doesn't work properly or your boss is a bully.

We are beginning to understand more about how to create and sustain the productive workplace - but we still have a long way to go.