Can the built environment influence engagement levels and drive business outcomes?

Steelcase asked 12,480 survey participants in 17 countries if they believed the workplace could impact engagement levels. The answer? One out of every three workers is disengaged. And on the other end of the scale, only 13% of workers are highly engaged.

Employee engagement is not a new topic for businesses; it has been a growing concern for a few decades. Gallup began watching the trend in the mid-nineties, and started collecting data in 2000 (Gallup). While engagement has been on the rise since Gallup began their study, factors such as the global economy, technology, and generational differences have complicated our understanding of how to motivate employees.

With an annual estimated loss in productivity of disengaged workers totaling $450B – $550B (Source: Gallup), engaged employees are a cornerstone of a successful business.

The most engaged employees are positive and enthusiastic, creating new ideas, building deeper customer relationships and generating more profits. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are a drag on the organization, sometimes actively working at cross-purposes with company goals. ~ Steelcase Global Engagement Workplace Report, 2016

According to Debra Alton, ASID, WRID, Senior Account Manager for Architecture and Design at Atmosphere, “Engagement is not a topic that can be addressed on one dimension. It revolves around Culture, Space, Leadership, well-being, and worker needs. When I talk to our clients about the tremendous opportunity we have to help support an engaged workplace, it often requires a  commitment by the client to have skin in the game, to see real rewards.  Space does matter to today’s worker and it very often reflects the message about what an organization’s DNA is made of.  If CEO’s are committed to creating a place that is a destination, not just a place where work gets done, it can affect the bottom line in a very tangible manner. As the research from Towers Watson revealed, companies with highly engaged employees see a 19% increase in income.” (Source:

If you’re interested in downloading the Steelcase report, visit, click Get the Report, and complete the request form. The full report is 249 pages, and there is a 12-page summary version. As a bonus, the Report Download page also summarizes the key findings in a series of infographics, helping you with at-a-glance highlights.

No time to read the report? This video summarizes the key points.

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