Steelcase, founded in 1912 as the Metal Office Furniture Company in Grand Rapids, MI, is one of the largest and most well-known office furniture companies in the world. They recently partnered with global research firm Ipsos to conduct a study in 17 countries with 12,000 office workers. They asked employees questions about their physical environment, such as the type of space they work in and what their experience is like at work.
The data showed a direct correlation between how satisfied people are with their workplace and how engaged they are. People who were happy with their office tended to be more engaged, and people who hated their office tended to be more disengaged.
The research also showed that employees who have more choice and control over their work experience are more engaged. Examples include giving employees options about where to work, so they are not tethered to their desk, and ensuring you have a place where employees can go to have a private conversation.
By no means does this data suggest that people with a nice office will automatically be engaged. Employee engagement has a lot of variables, and redesigning your workplace is not going to help if employees don’t trust senior leaders and feel an emotional connection to your company.
However, the next time your company redesigns its office space, senior leaders, include employees in the decisions, as we now know this will impact your engagement score. Who knew?