flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

Latest Gensler survey links innovation with workplace flexibility

Office Buildings

Latest Gensler survey links innovation with workplace flexibility

A poll of 4,000-plus U.S. workers finds the most innovative among them spend less time at the office.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | July 13, 2016

A growing number of Americans are opting out of office work. Employers can make the office environment more appealing—and in the process foment innovation—through better workspace design and by allowing greater latitude in where work takes place, according to a new survey conducted by Gensler. Image: Pixabay

Over two-thirds of office workers in the United States are disengaged from their work. Eight of 10 of those workers are stressed out. So it’s little wonder that U.S. companies struggle to find and retain talent at a time when emerging technologies and co-working trends empower more workers to step off the corporate treadmill and become freelance consultants, a trend that could result in 40% of the U.S. workforce being independently employed by 2020.

These are some of the key findings in Gensler’s “U.S. Workplace Survey 2016,” for which the industry’s largest architectural firm polled over 4,000 American workers in 11 industries using its newly redesigned Workplace Performance Index platform. That platform combines factors that impact user experience to calculate qualitative ratings for physical environments.

This is the 10th year that Gensler has conducted a poll of office workers.

The respondents to the latest survey represented all generations and roles in the workplace, companies of various sizes, and were geographically spread across the country.

Gensler paints a cramped portrait of the American workplace, where smaller desks and less privacy “are the norms” for many workers. From 2013 to 2016, choice of workspace fell at every level of the organization, even as senior leadership continues to report greater choice than professional or administrative staff.

C-Suite and managerial staff are more likely to see their organizations as innovative, with admin and professional staff expressing the opposite viewpoint. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gensler’s data uncovers a link between the quality and function of a workplace and the level of innovation that employees ascribe to their companies.

 

The most innovative office environments are those where innovators are spending less time at their desks, according to a new survey conducted by Gensler. Image: “U.S. Workplace Survey 2016.” 

 

For example, it finds that innovators are five times more likely to have workplaces that prioritize both individual and group work.

Innovators have better designed workspaces of all types. They spend less time at their desks, instead collaborating and socializing from conference rooms, open meeting areas, and café spaces. They also spend more time working away from the office entirely, averaging 74% of an average week in the office compared to 86% for respondents with the lowest innovation scores.

Gensler sees better office design as a cure. “Workplace design prioritizes collaboration,” and reinforces purpose, choice, and equity, the report concludes from its polling data. Gensler observes that innovative companies are also more likely to accept that, thanks to Wi-Fi, “workspace” can extend beyond the office to other meeting places and the outdoors.

Innovative companies, says Gensler, are letting their employees have access to a wider variety of workspaces, and allowing them to work “wherever is best for the task at hand.” This tends to reflect how much companies care about their employees’ career satisfaction and development. “Improve the workplace, and expand choice and autonomy, across the organization to drive innovation,” Gensler advises.

 

Innovative workplaces give their employees a positive feeling of accomplishment and purpose. Image: “U.S. Workplace Survey 2016.”

 

The firm conducted a similar survey of 1,200 office workers in 11 industries in the United Kingdom. It found that the UK workplace “significantly favors those in management positions.”  Poorly designed and open-plan environments are negatively affecting more than 8 million UK workers. And legacy workplace behavior and lack of choice are drags on performance.

Gensler recommends that UK companies take a more considered approach to the open plan office, where “the right—and separate—spaces for individual and collaborate work are key.” It also calls for UK companies to expand workplace variety and choice, and match space to role, not status.

And in Asia, Gensler surveyed more than 2,000 office workers in six major metros. It found that Asian workplaces tend to adopt a common, western narrative, resulting in mostly open-plan workspaces combining workstations, offices, and conference rooms. “This hand-me-down model of workplace design … may now be holding Asian companies and employees back.”

Related Stories

Mass Timber | Jun 10, 2024

5 hidden benefits of mass timber design

Mass timber is a materials and design approach that holds immense potential to transform the future of the commercial building industry, as well as our environment. 

Office Buildings | Jun 6, 2024

HOK presents neurodiversity research and design guidelines at SXSW 2024

Workplace experts share insights on designing inclusive spaces that cater to diverse sensory processing needs.

Office Buildings | Jun 3, 2024

Insights for working well in a hybrid world

GBBN Principal and Interior Designer Beth Latto, NCIDQ, LEED AP, ID+C, WELL AP, share a few takeaways, insights, and lessons learned from a recent Post Occupancy Evaluation of the firm's Cincinnati, Ohio, office.

MFPRO+ News | Jun 3, 2024

New York’s office to residential conversion program draws interest from 64 owners

New York City’s Office Conversion Accelerator Program has been contacted by the owners of 64 commercial buildings interested in converting their properties to residential use.

Products and Materials | May 31, 2024

Top building products for May 2024

BD+C Editors break down May's top 15 building products, from ​​​​​​​Durat and CaraGreen's Durat Plus to Zurn Siphonic Roof Drains.

Urban Planning | May 28, 2024

‘Flowing’ design emphasizes interaction at Bellevue, Wash., development

The three-tower 1,030,000-sf office and retail development designed by Graphite Design Group in collaboration with Compton Design Office for Vulcan Real Estate is attracting some of the world’s largest names in tech and hospitality. 

Laboratories | May 24, 2024

The Department of Energy breaks ground on the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center

In Princeton, N.J., the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has broken ground on the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center (PPIC), a state-of-the-art office and laboratory building. Designed and constructed by SmithGroup, the $109.7 million facility will provide space for research supporting PPPL’s expanded mission into microelectronics, quantum sensors and devices, and sustainability sciences. 

Office Buildings | May 20, 2024

10 spaces that are no longer optional to create a great workplace

Amenities are no longer optional. The new role of the office is not only a place to get work done, but to provide a mix of work experiences for employees.

Office Buildings | May 16, 2024

New Gensler report calls for workplace design that responds to employees’ ‘human emotions’

High performing offices are linked to how well they leverage amenities.

Adaptive Reuse | May 9, 2024

Hotels now account for over one-third of adaptive reuse projects

For the first time ever, hotel to apartment conversion projects have overtaken office-to-residential conversions.

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category




halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021