Teknion survey reveals lack of privacy and collaborative spaces in today’s office

The Teknion Corporation recently announced the results of its recent workplace survey, and according to Steve Delfino, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Product Management, Teknion,“We have noticed a major shift towards the collaborative, open environment office over the last several years,” said “Collaboration is no doubt an extremely important business tool, but its translation to the office plan may have been a little too extreme. A fine balance between privacy and the degree of openness is needed to be effective. Our workplace survey results indicate that employees, although understanding the benefits of collaboration, are looking for more privacy.”

When asked, “What is the one thing missing most from your office?” survey respondents identified a lack of lounge space, meeting rooms and quiet zones. Sixty-seven percent of those in the Education field identified casual spaces as the key missing element, followed by 67 percent in Law, 54 percent in Marketing, 52 percent in Finance & Insurance, 50 percent in Art & Media, 35 percent in Science & Research, and 30 percent in Health Care.

When survey participants were asked, “What areas of your office do the best meetings or collaboration take place?” casual spaces – primarily lounges – are preferred. Lounges were the first choice of four industries – Art & Media, Education, Law, and Marketing. Meeting Rooms were selected first by three industries – Finance & Insurance, Healthcare and Science & Research.

“These results are not surprising, as studies continually indicate that the need for employee privacy is growing in step with increased collaboration in open-plan office environments,” says Delfino. “In fact, Gensler’s 2013 US Workplace Survey determines that employees who can effectively focus are 57 percent more able to collaborate, 88 percent more able to learn, and 4 percent more able to socialize in their workplace than their peers who are unable to focus. Distracted employees are obviously not as productive as those with spaces designed for focus work. Our challenge is designing workplaces that effectively support the ability to focus and collaborate simultaneously.”

Teknion conducted its workplace survey at ideacity – Canada’s Premier Meeting of the Minds, which was held from June 19-21, 2013 in Toronto. Three-quarters of ideacity attendees are owners/founders of their own businesses, senior managers or executives within an organization. The conference attracts people from a variety of professional backgrounds including architecture and design, finance, investment, banking, technology, science, arts, film academia, and the public and not-for-profit sectors.