The third annual Capital One Work Environment Survey highlights the importance of flexibility and design in a happy workspace.
3600 full-time professionals took part in the survey, which seeks to understand the preferences of in-office professionals and how they effect productivity, collaboration and overall wellbeing. The findings are sure to prove interesting not just to office managers but to facility managers looking to best utilise the spaces they are responsible for.
Key findings are as follows:
It’s likely to come as little surprise to most that 90 percent of office professionals agree they perform better in well-designed spaces. The primary elements they consider important to good workspace design include natural lighting (at 58 percent it is the top response for the third year running), spaces to rest and relax (50 percent, up double from last year) and areas where they can work individually that go beyond the traditional desks (45 percent).
On the surface it sounds like they want the kind of corner office usually reserved for employees who have spent years working hard for a company. They probably do. More specifically however, they are asking for options.
Adaptability and flexibility
One of the most important tenets of the modern workplace is that one size does not fit all. To get the most out of every individual we must recognise them as individuals. That’s why adaptability and flexibility are critical.
89 percent of professionals surveyed say they work better when they have somewhere to take a break during the day. 73 percent want flexible furniture arrangements, while 71 percent say they prefer flexibility across the entire workspace.
No statistics highlight this better than the following: while 77 percent say they work better when they have access to spaces for collaboration, only 22 percent consider collaboration spaces a necessary design element. In short, workers don’t want a space dedicated to collaboration; they want the flexibility to make any space a collaborative one.
Well-being is a growing concern
This desire for flexibility is indicative of a growing expectation for companies to support the health and well-being of office workers. Of the three chief ways those surveyed expect companies to facilitate this, two also appear in the list of most desirable design elements – access to natural lighting and rest spaces.
The presence of such direct correlation is something facility managers ignore at their own risk.
What this means for facility managers
The good news is that transforming a space into a happy and efficient workplace doesn’t call for a complete overhaul. All that’s required is for facility managers to consider the way they utilise space in a way that makes those using it feel like they can make it their own. This can be achieved by watching how building tenants use the space as it currently exists, and communicating with them to determine their needs now and into the future.
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