December 14, 2018
“No man is an island,” the poet John Donne informed us in the 17th century. Apparently, no employee is, either.
A survey conducted by WeWork and research firm Ipsos linked collaboration and job satisfaction. It found that 70% of those who described themselves as satisfied with their jobs indicated that they collaborated with people outside of their office, such as clients or partners, at least once or twice a week.
Conversely, less than half of unsatisfied employees reported a comparable level of collaboration.
Most satisfied employees rank “opportunities to work on a collaborative team” as the best way to boost their careers, according to WeWork. More than half of all happy employees collaborate with five or more people at their office on any given day, and more than two-thirds collaborate with people outside their office at least once a week.
The survey results showed not only that people prefer a collaborative workplace experience, but also that regular collaboration can enable employees to feel more productive.
For example, satisfied employees in the U.S. are twice as likely as their unsatisfied counterparts to say that collaboration makes them feel more productive.
When U.S. workers were asked what would make them more satisfied with their current job environment, the top responses focused on workspace and amenities, such as better facilities and work areas, more space and privacy, clean workspaces, and safety and security. These outweighed other incentives and benefits, such as better pay, better hours, better management and more vacation time.
Liz Burow, WeWork’s VP of workplace strategy, said office design directly influences how employees feel. “The future is about ‘intentional’ work,” said Burow. “Can my environment support my workflow, making me more organized, more purposeful? Can it elevate what I do and how I do it?”
Burow, who works closely with large companies or corporations who join WeWork, said many have redesigned their spaces with the goal of fostering collaboration and connection among employees.
However, she said the key to fostering creativity is a workplace where people can accomplish different types of tasks.
“Collaboration has been on the minds of large organizations for a long time,” she says. “And now the pendulum has swung back to the need to do deep, focused work, too. People often think they need one thing or another, but in truth we all need a bit of everything.”
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny