- Workplace design allowing for flexibility is crucial to productivity, innovation and collaboration, according to a majority of office professionals in a new Capital One 2018 Work Environment Survey. Among the 3,500 office professionals polled, 85% believe flexible workplace design is important and 83% said they have their best ideas when working in flexible work spaces.
- Other findings in the survey show that a flexible schedule is one of workers' top two reasons for staying with an organization; 58% said flexible hours topped their list of things they wanted from a company. But policy is not the only aspect of a flexible work environment. Around 85% said it's important that their next employer be quick to adopt, invest in and implement new technologies and 79% believe organizations can't encourage innovation without an innovative work environment.
- Natural light, furniture and spaces that were easy to reconfigure, artwork and creative images and collaborative workspaces top favored workplace design elements. Design that reflected well-being was also a high priority for respondents, such as offering healthy onsite food and beverage options, relaxation and social areas, onsite health centers and quiet spaces for reflection.
It can’t be stated enough how important flexibility is in today's workforce. About 42% of employees in a Yoh survey said they would quit their current jobs for more flexibility elsewhere. Attitudes regarding flexible work are shifting quickly in a tight labor market, prompting some to begin asking if it should be the "default option" in how work is managed to better accommodate talent of all backgrounds.
Technology is another aspect of flexibility that's important to workers; in fact, it's what makes much of the flexibility in workers' personal and work lives possible. A Harvard Business Review study shows that among 58% of respondents, technology offerings are a decisive factor in whether they would work for an employer. And according to the same study, outmoded technology hinders employers' ability to retain talent.
Reports conflict on how office design affects workers, but by all accounts, it does impact productivity, innovation and collaboration. Some studies conclude that open-space work areas don't give workers enough of the privacy they need to be innovative and productive, while other studies results maintain that open spaces foster team work and more employee interaction. Employers may need to find a middle ground in office design, one that has enough open, more relaxed spaces for collaboration, as well as sectioned-off areas for privacy and concentration.