- Workers favor a mix of both open office areas and private workspaces and using technology to communicate with coworkers, according to an Olivet University survey.
- Of the polls' 2,009 respondents, a plurality (34%) work in environments that include both open spaces and closed offices, followed by those who work in cubicles (28%). Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they're happy with their office set up, with those in private offices saying they're the most satisfied (90%). When asked what office amenities would help respondents be more productive, their top two choices were a "quiet location" and a "dedicated office space."
- As for technology's influence on the work environment, respondents said they have, on average, slightly more daily conversations via messaging platforms than face-to-face encounters. And although more than half admit using messaging more for social interaction than work, only 20% believed that the distraction hurts productivity. Another tech-driven change in the workplace is the wider use of headphones — 40% of the respondents said they wear headphones between 25% to 50% of the time at work.
The Olivet University survey reinforced the idea that technology is driving the office transformation trend. In fact, most workers in a recent Zapier survey said they believe that what was once a typical workspace — a closed-in office or cubicle — will be obsolete by 2030. While experts agree that a "typical office space" no longer exists, employers that want to redesign their office floor plans should take into account workers' diverse needs and preferences for hybrid workspaces that include both private areas as well as collaborative open areas.
In fact, listening to what workers say will make them more productive is a necessary place to start when rolling out physical amenities in the workplace. Other survey results make a clear case for polling workers on their office design preferences, such as Capital One's 2019 Work Environment Survey. Of the 3,608 full-time U.S. office professionals polled, many described their ideal work environment as one offering flexible work schedules, access to natural light and quiet spaces. In fact, the respondents said that these offerings were critical to their well-being, mental health and overall job satisfaction.