Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey Finds There’s Work To Be Done

This survey of more than 5,000 office workers finds workplace effectiveness and experience have declined, due to continued dramatic shifts in the way people are working.

Recently, Gensler, the world’s largest architecture firm, released its 2020 U.S. Workplace Survey report. The document explores the latest workplace design trends. Gensler’s workplace portfolio includes the corporate headquarters of Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, and Etsy.

The Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey 2020 represents the input from more than 5,000 U.S. office workers across a variety of industries and demographics. The data provides new insight into what makes an effective workplace, and how workplace design and strategy can respond to new forms of mobility that are impacting the workplace. Those surveyed are not necessarily Gensler clients but are selected at random to get a true cross section of the U.S. workforce.

workplace survey
Headquarters of the Campari Group (Photo: ©James John Jetel, Courtesy of Gensler)

Key Findings From Gensler Workplace Survey

Workplace effectiveness and experience have declined, a consequence of continued dramatic shifts in the way people work. Data from the 2020 survey registers the lowest effectiveness numbers we’ve measured since Gensler’s first Workplace Survey in 2005.

It’s not about open vs. closed. It’s about effective design. In fact, environments with some enclosure perform best. For the second year in a row, Gensler measured the workplace in degrees of openness, and find that neither totally open nor totally private environments are best for workers.

People without assigned seats are struggling, even those who like it. Unassigned seating is on the rise — data shows 10% of the U.S. workforce no longer has an assigned seat at work, doubling from 5% in 2019.

In an era of choice, the office is still the preferred place to work. The workers with the highest Workplace Effectiveness scores — those with the best performing, best designed workspaces — prefer working from their company’s office location above all other places.

The survey can be downloaded through a form on the Gensler website.

workplace survey