As professional expectations evolve along with the modern American workforce, it’s only natural that the space we work in follows suit. Gone are the days of formal clothing and fluorescent lighting, here to stay are casual dress codes and cozy furniture. Even cubicles are disappearing, often replaced with much-debated open floor plans, elements of which can be found in more than half of workplaces today.
Increasingly, offices are being designed with employees’ wants and needs in mind. So what are the results? We asked 2,009 people how satisfied they are with their office environment, and in what ways it contributes to their happiness and productivity.
Technology has allowed us to create office environments in which employees communicate as much or more through social channels as they do face-to-face—on average, our respondents have eight conversations in-person per day and nine conversations on messaging platforms. Of the 54 percent that use instant messaging platforms like Slack, half say they use them more for socializing than is appropriate. Despite this potential for distraction, only one in five say it hurts productivity.
The ease in communication provided by technology has also given rise to the remote worker. Two out of five respondents said that they’re allowed to work off-site up to a few times per month; when they do, 79 percent choose to work in their home rather than a coffee shop or dedicated co-working space.
As comfortable as working from home may be, it’s not without its downfalls. Over half of respondents (58 percent) say they’re less productive at home and 80 percent admit to multitasking more, choosing to focus on things like laundry, family, or television. Communication habits change as well: 56 percent say they communicate less with their coworkers than they normally would, leading one in three to feel isolated or lonely.
From November 15 to November 17, 2019, we surveyed 2,009 people on their current workplace environments. The average age was 37; 55% of respondents were female, 45% were male.
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