Office Space Configurations Impact Employee Productivity

Office Space Configurations Impact Employee Productivity

Commercial News » North America Commercial News Edition | By Michael Gerrity | July 15, 2014 2:03 PM ET

In an ever increasing technology-driven workplace, office layouts and workflow configurations matter even more than ever, says CBRE.
According to a new research report from CBRE Group, Inc., a balance of different types of workspaces within an office environment is the key to improving worker productivity.
When a company provides a variety of work spaces that employees can select from, CBRE says satisfaction levels increase 10 - 15 percent.  Companies are also supporting the way employees work today: Research shows office workers spend less than 50 percent of their time at their desks, and the majority of their time interacting with others. 
"By creating workplace solutions that reflect how people work and what they value, organizations can drive measurable improvements in employee satisfaction and business productivity while reflecting their brands and value to customers," said Gary Baragona, Director of Research and Analysis for CBRE.
According to the report, in the past companies would determine future space needs by examining their existing office configuration and determining what alterations were needed for future growth, with lower real estate costs being a primary metric for success. In contrast, today companies are looking to create a more thoughtful workplace strategy by collecting information to better understand their unique work environment, and implementing a balanced mix of spaces (both open and private workspaces) that aligns with how their employees actually work.  Further, truly flexible work requires seamless remote access to company files and networks, necessitating the need for companies to provide mobile IT solutions.

"Collectively, this data suggests that organizations that can provide flexibility and choice will create greater office efficiencies and higher levels of employee satisfaction," said Lenny Beaudoin, Senior Managing Director of Workplace Strategy for CBRE. "By more intensely using their real estate assets, companies are able to reinvest in technology and a suite of services that can make the new workplace environment a reality for their employees."
Other findings from the CBRE report include:

  • In an increasingly virtual world, employees have a stronger sense of community and value the opportunity to connect face to face.  Therefore, companies are creating more transparent environments where employees can see each other working, with easy access to spaces for formal and informal interaction.
  • Remote information accessibility is the most important workplace attribute identified by employees, yet is also the poorest-performing measure of employee satisfaction, according to a study conducted by CBRE's Workplace Strategy group. Companies are responding by increasingly allowing employees to self-select the type of technology that supports the way they work, in addition to self-selecting the type of workspace that is best suited for the task at hand.
  • Millennials want choice.  The report finds that Millennials prefer a mix of work environments - 52 percent want a mix of working at home and in an office, while 41 percent prefer to work mainly from one office.  Only seven percent of Millennials prefer to work mainly from home.


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