Kay Sargent, director of HOK’s WorkPlace practice, authors an article for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) about designing places that work for people.
Excerpted from SHRM:
In an age in which ideas and knowledge drive the economy, people are the chief currency of every business. With up to 80 percent of a company’s expenses coming from human resources, it is vital that the workforce be engaged and empowered to enable productivity. Yet according to the latest edition of Gallup’s annual engagement survey, only 32 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged, with 50.8 percent not engaged and 17.2 percent actively disengaged.
Though many factors contribute to these statistics, research by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) and the Centre for Evidence Based Management (CEBMa) has identified six factors that have the most impact on knowledge worker productivity:
- Social cohesion
- Perceived supervisory support
- Information sharing
- Common vision, goals and purpose
- External communication
In workplaces that lack these attributes, engagement and productivity often will suffer.
A well-designed workplace that reflects a company’s organizational DNA can be a powerful tool for enabling social connections, sharing information, and building communication and trust. Giving people choices about their surroundings and work settings also helps elevate their satisfaction.