Learn what today’s employees expect in an office environment, from this Capital One survey

by Brianna Crandall — September 11, 2017 — In recent years, workplace design and environment have become a significant part of company culture — and a tool to help drive productive, innovative and collaborative work, reminds a new study. And facilities managers (FMs) can play a significant role in enabling a productive environment.

Capital One’s just-released Work Environment Survey of office professionals across five major markets (New York City, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington, DC), reveals the influence that design has on employees in the workplace.

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Aggregated results from workers across the country include:

  • Design drives innovation: 82% of office professionals believe companies can’t encourage innovation unless their workplace environment is innovative, and 63% feel innovation isn’t reflected at all in their current workplace’s design.
  • Local culture is missing: 69% believe local culture isn’t currently reflected in their company’s workplace design.
  • Flexibility is a must: 85% of office professionals surveyed believe flexible workplace design is important, and 82% of office professionals have their best ideas when they’re working in flexible space options.
  • Wanted: attractive design elements: The most desired design elements include: natural light (62%), artwork and creative imagery (44%), and easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces (43%).
  • A gap in health and wellness: Most office professionals said their company doesn’t currently offer a mothers’ nursing room (76%) or environmentally friendly programs (70%). When asked to prioritize on-site benefits, the top three responses were healthy food and beverage options (41%), relaxation/social areas (36%), and health/wellness centers and programming (35%).
  • Location, location, location?: When considering a new job, nearly two in three (64%) office professionals believe that workplace design and environment is equally important or more important than office location.

What are Millennials looking for?

In addition to aggregated results, the Work Environment Survey took a look at Millennials’ preferences in the workplace:

  • Design drives innovation: 86% of Millennial office professionals believe companies can’t encourage innovation unless their workplace environment is innovative, and 57% feel innovation isn’t reflected at all in their current workplace’s design.
  • Local culture is missing: 63% believe local culture isn’t currently reflected in their company’s workplace design.
  • Flexibility is a must: 88% of office professionals have their best ideas when they’re working in flexible space options.
  • Wanted: attractive design elements: The most desired design elements include: natural light (66%), artwork and creative imagery (51%), and easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces (48%).
  • A gap in health and wellness: Most office professionals said their company doesn’t currently offer a mothers’ nursing room (75%) or environmentally friendly programs (65%). When asked to prioritize on-site benefits, the top three responses were healthy food and beverage options (39%), relaxation/social areas (36%), and health/wellness centers and programming (33%).
  • Location, location, location?: When considering a new job, more than two in three (71%) Millennial office professionals believe that workplace design and environment is equally important or more important than office location.

Survey methodology

The Capital One Work Environment Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 office professionals employed full-time in each of the following DMAs: Chicago, Dallas, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, DC between May 24 and June 7, 2017, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the employed population in each DMA.