A recent report from Steelcase assessed engagement levels in office workers across the globe. This report was conducted to understand if the physical office environment can be used to impact engagement, and what sorts of changes make the biggest impact. It found that 1/3 of workers are disengaged to some level.
Disengagement impacts the bottom line for organisations. Staff may not feel that they are fulfilling a purpose, don’t really want to be at work – and this can slow down projects. Healthy and happy staff are integral to success. The report had some interesting findings, summarised below:
1. If staff are happy with their workplace, they are more engaged
- More engaged workers had positive perceptions about the organisation and its culture
- The most satisfied workers enjoy more choice and control in their workspace
- Engaged workers felt calmer, and had a higher sense of belonging
- Less engaged staff had lower satisfaction with the physical environment (temperature, lighting, noise, furniture etc)
Staff need to feel that their organisation genuinely cares about their health. Steelcase notes that in the staff that felt disengaged, only 10% felt their organisation recognised and valued them.
2. When staff feel a sense of control over where and how they work, they are more engaged and satisfied
- Employees who can choose where to work based on the task they are doing are more engaged
- These staff have access to a variety of spaces and control over their need for privacy
The most important finding from this is that staff need to have a greater sense of control over their environment. The provision of a variety of spaces, working from home or co-working can facilitate this. Importantly, ensure there is enough space for private work.
3. Mobile technology over fixed
- Highly engaged workers have access to laptops, mobiles and tablets rather than landlines and desktops
- Limited access to mobile technology limits employees’ ability to move to different work areas
It is important to understand how staff perceive the space they are working in to test the engagement levels. In our evaluations we can see the disengagement – some staff will be unhappy across all areas of a workplace evaluation. Changing up the work environment and listening to/observing what staff have issues is a great starting point towards a healthier, happier workforce.
Download the full report here