What Do Employees Expect in an Office Environment?

Sept. 12, 2017

85% of office professionals surveyed consider flexible workplace design important. 

As anyone in any out-of-home office knows, the way an office space is physically constructed is as big of factor as the work actually performed in the building.

The physical spaces, the workplace design and environment are a growing necessity for a growing millennial workforce who place a high emphasis on the ability to collaborate in social spaces.

Facility managers have a significant role in fostering a healthy and productive environment for the next generation of employees by providing a workplace that helps them thrive.

Work Environment Survey from Capitol One, a survey that takes heed from office professionals in five major metropolitan areas across the U.S., shows just how important an office design is for the next generation worker.

Among the most important office design preferences in the survey are below:

  • Design catalyzes creativity: 82% of office employees think businesses do not care about innovation unless their workplace environment is also innovative, and 63% feel innovation is not reflected at all in their current workplace’s design. To say you care about “work environment” is not as remarkable as showing it physically by the spaces you provide.
  • Local culture is missing: 69% think local culture is not of emphasis in their company’s workplace design. As non-traditionalist as young people may seem, a longing for close connections to city and community could be better represented in building interiors.
  • Adapt or die: 85% of office professionals surveyed consider flexible workplace design important, and 82% of office professionals work to their highest level when they are working in flexible space options. Ideas employees have with one another when discussing in breakrooms or other social areas can be the best spots for creative thinking.
  • Lights, camera, action: The most coveted design elements by those survey included natural light (62%), artwork and creative imagery (44%) and easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces (43%).
  • More needed than desks and chairs: Most office professionals say their company does not currently offer a mothers’ nursing room (76%) or environmentally friendly programs (70%). When asked to prioritize on-site benefits, the top three responses were healthy food and beverage options (41%), relaxation/social areas (36%), and health/wellness centers and programming (35%).
  • A little farther away, but better looking: When millennials consider taking a new job, more than two in three (71%) employees believe that workplace design and environment is just as or more important than office location.

The Capital One Work Environment Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 office professionals employed full-time in each of the following DMAs: Chicago, Dallas, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, DC between May 24 and June 7, 2017, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the employed population in each DMA.

Additional resources on revitalizing workplace interiors:

Social Spaces That Work Throughout the Workday

6 Ways Buildings Can Promote Wellness

Five Trends Transforming the Office Space & the Impact on Your Bottom Line

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