See how your workplace can impact employee productivity — and the role played by happiness

by Brianna Crandall — July 17, 2017 — Does your workplace foster happiness? Nearly 70 percent of employees globally agree that happiness at work is the best ingredient for a unique work experience, according to global professional and real estate services firm JLL’s latest study on how to drive human experience in corporate workplaces. Companies that are grappling with some of today’s workplace complexities like the increasing mobile and multi-generational workforce now see the direct correlation between a productive workplace and a healthy balance sheet.

John Forrest, Global and Americas CEO, Corporate Solutions, JLL, stated:

The future of work requires a change of mind set on how we think about the workplace. Our research shows that a positive workplace experience leads to happiness and that in turn, improves productivity and quality of life. Companies should think about how their real estate offers the right locations, technology and design in order to capture the best from their employees.

JLL’s new research, Workplace: Powered by Human Experience, examines how workplace experience and a focus on people can help businesses thrive in the new world of work. The study found that workplaces in the United States are beginning to embrace the Human Experience model and, in fact:

  • Nearly 90 percent of U.S. employees say the idea of a “chief happiness officer” at work, dedicated to employee well-being, is a good idea.
  • 71 percent of U.S. employees agree that their workspace allows them to work effectively, more than the global average of 52 percent.
  • 64 percent of U.S. employees say they are very engaged, more than the global average of only 40 percent.
  • 70 percent of U.S. employees would trade an enclosed office for an open-plan workspace in exchange for access to innovative environments such as community, collaborating or creative workspaces.
  • Employees in the USA and India value creativity and were most likely to say that a workplace that facilitates creativity would provide a unique work experience.
  • Employees in the USA, India, China, Italy and South Africa are also more likely than those elsewhere to prefer spaces to express a need for regeneration and inspiration.

How FMs can help

Practically speaking for workplace layout, according to JLL’s Future of Work Web site, the survey shows that employees are turning from the traditional workplace and moving toward activity-based working, involving sharing as part of the community. Significant proportions of them want to escape their desks (37%), find places to recharge their energy (40%), and drop into spaces designed to aid concentration (47%).

In addition to the space management, furnishings for collaboration and innovation, and technology issues mentioned above, facilities managers can enhance workplace happiness with sustainability initiatives, indoor greenery, amenities, and such obvious areas as a comfortable indoor environment and well-maintained building.

Marie Puybaraud, global head of Corporate Research at JLL, commented:

Human Experience is about how the work environment ultimately impacts company performance, not just its culture. Our study shows that workplaces and workspaces have a key role to play, both strategically and operationally, in fostering engagement, empowerment and fulfillment at work.

JLL’s Corporate Solutions offers strategy, services and technology solutions across the entire real estate life cycle to organizations globally.

The report, Workplace: Powered by Human Experience, is part of JLL’s Future of Work outlook on the changing world of work and its impact on the next generation of real estate. It is the result of a year’s research across 12 countries, 40 companies and more than 7,000 respondents. This research decodes the workplace experience, its impact on business performance, and how these workplace experiences can be shaped by real estate.