Unhappy employees are estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $450 to $550 billion each year due to costs related to lower performance, more sick days, and higher turnover rates. These trends have led to office design becoming much more prominent subject in thought leadership since the height of cubicle sprawls.
In promotion of its Applied Psychology Program, the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences created an infographic illustrating the relationship between office design and productivity, along with how offices have evolved to meet the changing psychological needs of employees from generation to generation. This graphic compiles a wealth of research bridging how poor office design can lead to reduced productivity, and how this loss can ultimately result in overwhelming financial cost to businesses.
Cubicles were once the height of innovation in office design, but they’re now often seen as restrictive to effective collaboration; open floor plans peaked over the 1990s and 2000s, but are frequently considered damaging to workers’ attention spans and job satisfaction today. Viewing the advantages and disadvantages of each design is less valuable than the conclusion that the ideal workplace adapts to its employees’ needs.
Other than the basic needs that a work space should meet, such as proper ventilation and lighting, employees are increasingly expecting environments which respect their work-life balance while providing greater freedom in choosing how, when, and where they work. As seen in the infographic below, the offices of tech employers such as Facebook and Google lead office culture with unique perks and innovations to meet those expectations. These employers offer flexible, collaborative design solutions to meet the diverse needs of diverse workforces.