The Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey is the focus of this article.  The survey of over 2,000 office workers is designed to gauge how workplace design affects their productivity, creativity and work attitudes.  It reaffirms that better office design can lead to increased productivity and an enhanced bottom line.  Employees, however, believe that corporate America is still too focused on design costs, rather than value.  Among the article’s other points:

  • U.S. corporations often underestimate the impact that workplace design and layout has on employees;
  • Respondents believe their work output could increase, on average, by 21% if their office environment were better designed;
  • Nearly half of respondents say that better workplace design would make them amenable to longer workdays.

This article warns that any potential productivity increase is largely untapped because corporations are too focused on costs.  In particular, survey respondents reported previous bad experiences with employers who set office design expectations too high.  When employers were surveyed, however, they seemed to understand the connection between office environment and performance.  Upper management estimated the potential worker productivity increase due to better workplace design at $330 billion per year.

The author finishes his article with an outline of the elements of workplace design that U.S. workers say would improve their environment.

Source: Jay W. Schneider, Building Design &Construction; Mar 1, 2007

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