Five surprising findings about employee engagement

This piece is brought to you by Interstate Office Products.

More than one in three workers throughout the world feels disengaged at work.

And only 13 percent feel highly engaged and highly satisfied.

For everyone in between, there’s room for improvement, too.

That’s just one of the key findings of the Steelcase Global Report, an in-depth look at employee engagement that reveals some important things to know for businesses struggling with this bottom-line issue.

Interstate Office Products, a Premier Partner Steelcase dealer, increasingly sees clients looking to redesign their workspaces with employee engagement in mind.

“Your work environment not only has a significant effect on your productivity and satisfaction in the workplace, it can drive your organization’s ability to compete in the war for talent,” said Gary Gaspar, company president. “Employers who invest in improving their work environment are differentiating themselves in their ability to attract and engage the best knowledge workers.”

The Steelcase Global Report revealed five key findings that businesses should keep in mind when evaluating their work environment:

1. Employee engagement positively correlates with workplace satisfaction.

While many employees report being disengaged at work, the good news is that there is a correlation between engagement and workplace satisfaction.

 2. Engaged employees have more control over their workspaces.

Employees who can make choices about where and how they work report being more engaged.

For instance, 88 percent of highly engaged employees are able to choose where to work within the office based on the task they are doing. Interstate Office Products is finding many businesses choosing to add spaces like this that allow for more flexible work environments.

3. Fixed technology exceeds mobile 2:1

Even though people are increasingly mobile, most workplaces still provide twice as much fixed technology such as landline phones and desktop computers than they do tablets or laptops. This can influence employee mobility, both inside and outside the office.

Some jobs require people to be at their desk most of the time, so fixed technology is a viable solution. Others whose jobs require increased collaboration, greater degrees of interaction and more information sharing may find that technology that allows them to access information throughout the workplace is more helpful. People who need access to digital information for their work may feel tied to their desks and less likely to engage with colleagues who aren’t physically nearby.

Given the changes in how people work, organizations will want to consider how their workplace and technology strategies align.

There are a growing number of ways to equip offices so laptops easily plug into shared displays and workplaces.

4. Traditional workstyles persist.

While you may have the perception that tons of people work in trendy open office environments, most people still work in traditional spaces.

Almost two-thirds work in individual or shared private offices. And while entirely open offices represent about 25 percent of the business world, they aren’t the norm.

Neither extreme  —entirely enclosed or open — is always the right solution, and these findings suggest that organizations may not have adequately advanced their workplaces in ways that promote higher degrees of engagement.

There are ways to update your office space no matter which layout you prefer.

5. Cultural context influences engagement levels.

The most highly engaged employees tend to hail from emerging economies and the least engaged often come from countries in well-established markets.

For U.S. employers, that means extra emphasis likely is needed to bolster employee engagement.

To learn more about how the work environment can support these goals, contact Interstate Office Products through its website or by calling 605-339-0300.


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Five surprising findings about employee engagement

More than one in three workers throughout the world feels disengaged at work. And only 13 percent feel highly engaged and highly satisfied. For everyone in between, there’s room for improvement, too.

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