Engagement is one of several key workplace trends that fuel innovation and growth. While building engagement is a complex organizational issue, the place where people come together is a key component, and the key to success is to design an ecosystem of places that support the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of people, which provide people choice and control over where and how they work.

PLACE CAN HELP

What’s needed today is an office renaissance. People vote with their feet, and employees today want places they choose to come to because it helps them work the way they need to in order to do their best work. Places that help them engage deeply. Places where they feel comfortable and productive. Places that are designed to provide them with the things they need to be their cognitive and emotional best. Steelcase research shows that there is a correlation between employee engagement and how satisfied they are with their work environment, and that the opportunity for organizations to recognize that place matters is one they can’t ignore.

CREATING AN ECOSYSTEM

The wealth of business clearly depends on the health of people. Leading organizations recognize that their physical workplace can help them more effectively implement their strategy, build their brand and support their culture, but they often struggle with how to do this in way that is both resilient and economically viable. The key is to design an ecosystem, an interconnected workplace that support the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of people, and give them choice and control over where and how they work. Control and choice is not only a significant component in building employee engagement; it has also become the new status symbol for today’s workers. The ecosystem should offer a range, or palette, of places—destinations that augment people’s interactions with each other and provide access to the tools and technology that people can only find at work. These destinations need to balance spaces for group work with individual spaces for focus and reflection. Organized in interrelated zones and settings, these destinations support diverse modes of work and diverse ways of thinking—both of which are essential to fuel the creative process that leads to innovation.