In business as in life, change is a constant that must be factored into decisions, particularly those impacting the future, a perpetual presence on our doorsteps. In life, we may turn to personal advisors, friends and families to help make the tough choices. In business, the practice of workplace consulting can help with the heavy lifting.

This is especially true as businesses strive to create the workplaces of the future, designing office environments that spark creativity, collaboration, and connectivity.

How can employers take the business innovations and employee expectations of today into tomorrow’s workplace? Getting the advice of an expert workplace consultant is an important first step.

Employees Want a Workplace That is Open, Comfortable, and Inviting

Research and observation tell us that employees value an open, visually pleasing, and comfortable workplace. As we all know, a happy employee is a productive employee. A collaborative workplace works well for teams and individuals, advancing business goals and success. Some key findings from a Clutch 2018 survey of employee workplace attitudes include:

  • A majority of workers, 61%, value an open, visually pleasing and stimulating workplace.
  • Almost two-thirds of surveyed employees value their own dedicated space, including desks, offices, and meeting spaces.
  • A sizeable portion of workers, 25%, who value these conditions, do not have them.
  • Almost 50% appreciate a community atmosphere where they work.

Other findings show that employees want perks, access to learning opportunities, and office equipment that meets individual needs. Specifically, that can mean high-quality chairs, sufficient washroom access, and spaces to brainstorm. Research shows that when an employer listens and responds to these employee wants, workers are better able to concentrate on the task at hand, and feel more positive about their work.

Research Shows How Much Work Needs to be Done to Create the Workplace of Tomorrow

Examples of employee-focused workplaces include flexible work layouts, desks that allow workers to stand or sit, and environments that include plants and other natural elements that contribute to emotional well-being. The same research shows that there is still much work to be done to achieve the workplace of tomorrow, with only 47% of employees now enjoying those preferred workplace conditions.

Older workers (64% of Generation X and 59% of Baby Boomers) prefer a visually pleasing, collaborative, and connected workplace as much as younger workers (58% of millennials).

Further research from Steelcase suggests that the best office design for employees should be a human-centered one that involves:

  • Creating workspaces that support different tasks, such as large and small meeting rooms for group meetings or private chats.
  • Deploying office furniture and spaces that allows people to work in a variety of positions such as sitting, standing, and even walking.
  • Creating a workspace that includes elements of nature, and variety over uniformity.
  • Building an office environment that respects the need for privacy and self-expression.

A daunting task, to be sure, and not one you want to take on alone. At POI, our workplace consultants understand the changing nature of work and how it can impact your business. Contact us today and take that first step into the future.