Workspace that Works

More and more companies today are focusing on workplace design and environment as it relates to employee productivity, innovation, and collaboration.

When I first joined the workforce more than two decades ago (yikes, that makes me feel old!), I was given a chair, desk, and computer and shared a small windowless office with my boss. Needless to say, my work environment did not necessarily inspire me to be creative or innovative.

Fast-forward to 2018 and more and more companies are focusing on workplace design and environment as it relates to employee productivity, innovation, and collaboration. The results of the 2018 Work Environment Survey by Capital One, for example, found that 3,500 respondents across the country value workplace flexibility and design, particularly when evaluating whether to stay at their current job or considering a new employment opportunity. For the second year in a row, the majority of office professionals believe companies can’t encourage innovation unless their workplace environment is innovative (79 percent). Those at the executive level feel even more strongly about this, with 87 percent agreeing office design is key to encouraging innovation.

The survey also found:

  • Certain design elements are in vogue: These include: natural light (57 percent), easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces (37 percent), artwork and creative imagery (30 percent), collaborative spaces (30 percent), and a tie (25 percent) for bold colors and spaces for rest and relaxation.
  • Options impact productivity: Offering different kinds of workspaces for employees is crucial, as 80 percent of respondents say they are more productive when they move to a different room or environment while working.
  • Location meets its match: When considering a new job, 66 percent of full-time professionals believe workplace design and environment is equally important or more important than office location. Executive-level employees feel even more strongly about this, with 76 percent saying workplace design is as, or more, important than location.

In our cover story, “Space to Innovate,” Training Top 125 companies CarMax, LaSalle Network, and DowAgroSciences LLC reveal how they utilize workspace— including “innovation labs”—to jumpstart creativity and collaboration.

It’s not just physical workspace that is getting a makeover—companies are diving into virtual and augmented reality technology that allows them to immerse and train employees in seemingly real-life conditions in a safe environment. See our Games & Simulations special section, which includes a look at how Learning and Development professionals can determine when it makes sense to use these high-tech solutions and how to integrate them into a larger learning program.

Technology and innovation are two key themes at our upcoming 2018 Online Learning Conference (October 8-10) and Innovations in Training (October 10-12) in Chicago. Get hands-on with the latest e-learning technologies and design techniques with our Training Test Kitchen, plus take a field trip to Second City for an interactive session that blends the worlds of improv and behavioral science. Register today at www.onlinelearningconference.com. Let’s dig in, disrupt, and develop solutions together!

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