Diane Hoskins, co-CEO de Gensler, cabinet de conseil en architecture et design, dévoile les principales conclusions de leur dernière étude, la « 2013 US Workplace Survey » : l’espace de travail idéal permet avant tout aux équipes de se concentrer sur leur travail mais doit également favoriser la collaboration.
Notez que les propos de l’auteur ne sauraient être objectifs au regard du fait que son entreprise vend du conseil en architecture et design.
Gensler has completed the new 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey, profiled recently in the media. As the most recent iteration of an ongoing investment in workplace research, the study examines the design factors that create an effective workplace; how design can better support knowledge worker engagement, satisfaction, and performance; and the influence of the workplace on organizational culture.
We spend a lot of time thinking about how workplace design improves performance. (…)
The 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey is the latest report in this thread. We commissioned a nationwide survey of 2,035 professionals to take the pulse of the U.S. workplace and understand what a high-performance workplace looks like for today’s knowledge worker. We asked big questions, building on our own knowledge of how work and the world are changing and on the findings of prior research. (…)
Today, knowledge workers are faced with an ever-changing business climate in which they must balance a wider variety of communication and a faster pace of change, often while being asked to do more with less. The workplace must follow suit, providing settings and supports for the broadening diversity of activities that are increasingly couched within the workday. To understand how a workplace best aligns with drivers of business success and employee engagement, we mined our survey data for workers at the top of their game. Turns out, 24% of our sample was thriving—out-performing and out-innovating their peers. We took a closer look to understand how.
The Key to an Effective Workplace
The big takeaway? Workplace design that supports the ability to focus and the ability to collaborate is an essential framework on which employee engagement and business success can be built. The interplay of individual and group work has been a hot topic of discussion in the past year, often under the assumption that the pursuit of one is inherently in conflict with the other. What we learned is that focus and collaboration aren’t in conflict; they are complements.
Ensuring the ability to focus is the critical first step. Analysis of findings from our 2013 study confirms that employees who can effectively focus are 57% more able to collaborate, 88% more able to learn, and 42% more able to socialize in their workplace than their peers who are unable to focus. They are more satisfied with their jobs, more satisfied with their workplaces, and see themselves as higher performing. (…)
Once employees can focus, other opportunities to drive performance and innovation emerge. Collaboration continues to be heralded as a key ingredient to the spread of ideas and the pursuit of innovation. Collaboration and inter-personal connection, when done right, have significant effects on team performance. And those in our sample who report that the design of their workplace effectively supports both individual work and collaborative work—what we’re calling a “balanced” workplace—exhibit promising performance improvements. These employees also report higher effectiveness across all work modes and are significantly more likely to rank their companies highly across a number of innovation and creativity measures.
Opportunity for Improvement: What’s Wrong With Most Workplaces Today?
The sad reality is that three out of four U.S. workers are struggling to work effectively. Longer work hours, smaller work spaces, and new and evolving technological distractions are challenging the effectiveness of the typical workplace. On the whole, office environments have also become increasingly open. The trend towards open workplace environments has been emerging since the 1970s, driven by the need for more collaboration and communication. In some cases, the pendulum may have swung too far, with too much emphasis on open communication and not enough on focus. (…).
Shifts in the modern workplace haven’t just compromised focus, however. Open work environments and under-provided spaces to meet and collaborate have shifted all work activities—not just focusing but collaborating and learning as well—towards people’s primary work spaces, eroding overall effectiveness and stifling productivity and innovation.
Finding Your Balance
No one work mode determines the effectiveness of a space. Instead, workplaces that balance work modes are the key to achieving high-performance and avoiding the pitfalls inherent to many workplaces. One size doesn’t fit all. (…)
After achieving balance, the opportunity is then to enhance innovation by leveraging choice and autonomy in the workplace. This can be achieved through the design of the workplace paired with the right policies. Feeling supported, valued, and autonomous as an individual has a significant impact on employee performance, engagement, and motivation. It may even affect health outcomes. Tools that allow employees to work anywhere effectively and organizational policies that offer choices in when, where, and how to work are necessary to achieve this goal. An optimal framework of spaces, tools, and policies then allows individual employees to make informed choices to maximize their own productivity. And that can pay dividends for performance and innovation at the enterprise scale.
“A sense of autonomy has a powerful effect on individual performance and attitude. According to a cluster of recent behavioral science studies, autonomous motivation promotes greater conceptual understanding, better grades, enhanced persistence at school and in sporting activities, higher productivity, less burnout, and greater levels of psychological well-being.”—Daniel Pink, Drive
Identifying and proactively supporting the balance and choice that drives business success is an opportunity to gain competitive advantage at a time when it’s more necessary than ever.