5 Elements Of An Engaging Workspace

As the global market and its organizations evolve, the way people work and interact does as well. Creating a space that understands these changes and supports employees is a key factor in enabling engagement and productivity. In this blog, we discuss the five key elements of a workspace necessary to foster employee engagement and enable organizational success.

Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist

Creating a More Engaging Workspace: 5 Key Elements to Consider


With only roughly one-third of employees feeling engaged at work, it becomes increasingly important for employers to focus on creating a positive work environment for their employees. To engage employees, organizations must create workspaces that support collaboration, concentration and inspiration.

Workspace design has a huge impact on office energy, which in turn influences culture and employee engagement. Experts say that beautiful, functional workspaces are a key factor in an organization’s ability to attract and retain new talent.


As the global market and its organizations evolve, the way people work and interact does as well. Creating a space that understands these changes and supports employees is a key factor in enabling engagement and productivity. To support employee engagement, workspaces must focus on five key elements: connection, community, flexibility, inclusion, and collaboration. (Cleverism)

1. Create Meaningful Connections. 
Workspaces with more open setups help break down barriers, enabling and encouraging employees to make more meaningful connections with colleagues of all levels. Not only will this make it easier for employees work together professionally, but it will also allow for people to make more personal connections which leads to higher levels of engagement and satisfaction.

According to Office Vibe, statistics show that friendships at work have a huge impact on both engagement, productivity, and overall employee success. The study reports:

  • 70% of employees say friendship at work is the most crucial factor in happiness at work
  • 58% of men, and 74% of women would refuse a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with coworkers
  • 50% of employees with a best friend at work reported a stronger connection to their company
  • Employees with a best friend at work, reported: 35% higher commitment to quality, 140% more likely to receive praise, 137% more support in their development, and 1.3 times more likely to receive progress feedback.

2. A Sense of Community. 
In an environment where employees can build personal connections with each other, there is often a greater sense of community. When building an engaging workspace, it’s important to find ways to foster team camaraderie across the organization.

Coworking spaces are a great way to achieve this – where employees across levels, teams, and even different organizations, can work alongside each other. This can look like anything from unassigned seating, to large coworking tables that encourage employees to interact. The goal should be to design a space that promotes dialogue and a sense of belonging. (Optix)

“If you can show that you have an environment and a culture where people actually get things done, where they’re incentivized to get things done and they’re willing to empower OTHER people to get things done, that’s the next frontier of coworking.” – Darrel Bosa, Founder of SpaceKraft

3. Enable Efficiency and Flexibility. 
The global workplace is becoming more focused on flexibility as each year passes, and our work spaces must also evolve to accommodate these changes. This means fostering agility, and accommodating different working styles, schedules, and employee needs.

According to Owl Labs, remote work is becoming a growing trend. 52% of employees report working from home at least once per week, with 21% working from home more than once per week, 18% always working from home, and 13% one day per week. In addition to this, telecommuting has increased 22% between 2017 and 2018 according to FlexJobs.

This means a few things:

  • Assigned desks and seating are less necessary - instead, employers can opt for drop in workstations and more flexible space
  • Employees are opting for more mobile technology, like laptops, smartphones and tablets vs. monitors and desk phones
  • When employees are in office, it’s often for activities that can’t be completed at home (i.e. collaborating and brainstorming) which creates different workspace needs

The workplace technology available today allows employees to do their work from anywhere, and on any device. To support this in office, it’s important to provide reliable technology and spaces to enable this. If an employee comes up with an idea while walking around the office, they should be able to find a readily available and appropriate space to sit down and get to work. (HMC Architects)

4. Support Accessibility and Inclusion. 
Engaging work spaces must also encourage inclusion of diverse workers. Whether your concerns involve religion, accessibility, or an unpredictable schedule; workplaces in the future must create environments that support diverse and unique needs. (Cleverism)

According to the Job Accommodations Network, the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the associated costs. Employers reported that 59% of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest had a typical cost of only $500. The survey found that of all the companies surveyed,

  • 89% retained a valued employee
  • 72% increased the employee’s productivity
  • 61% eliminated costs associated with training a new employee
  • 56% increased the employee's attendance
  • 41% increased diversity of the company
  • 38% saved workers' compensation or other insurance costs
  • 63% improved interactions with co-workers
  • 62% increased overall company morale
  • 56% increased overall company productivity
  • 46% improved interactions with customers
  • 41% increased overall company attendance
  • 29% increased profitability

5. Facilitate Genuine Collaboration.
For many businesses, collaboration is an essential component of innovation, problems solving, and overall success. However, collaboration doesn’t just happen, it needs to be facilitated and enabled. According to ChargeSpot, a workplace that supports collaboration must include:

  1. Open Plan Areas: 
    A lack of walls or other physical barriers in open-plan office spaces makes it easier for employees to interact with each other on a regular basis. Colleagues can turn to each other for advice or assistance without having to knock on doors or schedule a formal meeting. 
  2. Social Spaces: 
    With dedicated social spaces, employees from different teams can interact with one another away from their desk. This results in informal unplanned interactions that are statistically proven to increase innovation and productivity.
  3. Flexible Layouts: 
    Providing a range of different work spaces can also improve collaboration, providing employees with the freedom to move between environments, depending on the nature of their work, mood, or level of concentration needed.
  4. Office Branding: 
    Workplace branding can directly influence culture. You can achieve this by posting inspirational quotes about teamwork on the walls of your spaces.

When spaces like this encourage teamwork, people feel inspired and are better equipped to come up with creative ideas that promote innovation and growth.

To optimize employee engagement and workplace productivity, we need to achieve both workspace effectiveness and employee experience at the same time. By creating an office space that achieves this, you enable employees to maximize their potential reaching new levels of success for both the organization and its team members.