Happiest employees get to control their spaceNews added by Benefits Pro on February 19, 2014
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By Allen Greenberg

Want a more productive workforce? Let your employees design their own workspaces.

That’s the advice from Diane Hoskins, the co-CEO of San Francisco-based design and architectural firm Gensler, who suggests that an office environment matters “more than you may realize.”

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Hoskins said research “clearly points to the power of choice and autonomy to drive not only employee happiness, but also motivation and performance.”

“We found that knowledge workers whose companies allow them to help decide when, where and how they work were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, performed better, and viewed their company as more innovative than competitors that didn’t offer such choices,” she wrote.

Technology workers, for example, reported an above-average ability to focus in Gensler’s latest survey.

Its research also found that tech employees are happier and more satisfied in their jobs and with their workplaces, than average.

Choice made the big difference. Forty-one percent of technology employee respondents reported having a say in when and where they work — which includes both in- and out-of-office mobility — compared to only 32 percent on average.

Facebook, Hoskins noted, offers a good example of this. Employees at Facebook can tailor the layout, height and configuration of their desks based on personal preference. Teams also can create whatever workspace layout best supports their project, moving desks into a circular break-out space or a long row of desks, for example.

Hoskins acknowledged that not every company can offer choice to employees on the same scale. But she suggests employers carefully consider what they can do to give employees “the spaces and tools that enhance and support their workday tasks as well as corporate goals.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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