Top recommendations for further reading

Principal Sources

The ideas and recommendations on are derived primarily from the four sources below.

These sources were chosen because they are reputable and the information reported is based on actual data
from studies with statistically significant sample sizes, covering multiple industries and countries.
The data was collected within the last two years and the information is relevant to physical office design.

Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey 2016

Gensler – U.S. Workplace Survey 2016

Gensler is a global architecture and design firm that was founded in San Francisco and now operates in 44 cities across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Gensler’s Research Program supports practitioner-led research investigations on topics including workplace effectiveness.

The U.S. Workplace Survey 2016 is the most recent of a 10-year Workplace Survey. Data comes from more than 4,000 randomly sampled office workers in 11 industries with the goal of understanding where and how work is happening today—and the role design plays in employee performance and innovation.

The Next 250k Leesman

Leesman – The Next 250k 2017

With its headquarters in London and offices in New York, Stockholm, and Amsterdam, Leesman works globally with organisations evaluating how effectively their workplaces support an optimal employee experience. Alongside their global benchmarking service, Leesman conduct independent research based on the largest workplace effectiveness database of its kind; the Leesman Index.

The Next 250k study is an analysis of over 250,000 employee responses from 2,160 workplaces in 67 countries. The report unearths five key factors which influence workplace performance and arms leadership teams with key insights to reclaim value currently being lost through inadequate workplaces.


The Workplace Advantage Report by The Stoddart Review

Stoddart Review– The Workplace Advantage 2016

The Stoddart Review, based in the UK, is a non-profit initiative aiming to give a cross-industry perspective on the importance of the workplace and real estate as key performance levers. It was formed by the Institute for Workplace and Facilities Management along with academic and corporate partners.

The Workplace Advantage 2016 offers strategic opinion and evidence-based conclusions based on quantitative analysis from Leesman Index 2016 research, and qualitative analysis from interviews with senior business leaders and panel presentations by representatives from organizational development, architecture, design, facilities management, engineering, real estate, academia and technology. Data was sampled internationally but is heavily weighted toward the UK and Ireand.

Gallup State of the American Workplace

Gallup – 2017 State of the American Workplace

Gallup is an American research-based, global performance-management consulting company working on topics including but not limited to employee engagement. Gallup has 30 offices in more than 20 countries, and became known for its public opinion polls and also owns the CliftonStrengths personality assessment tool that encourages strengths-based leadership.

The data for the 2017 State of the American Workplace was collected from more than 195,600 U.S. employees via the Gallup Panel and Gallup Daily tracking in 2015 and 2016. Employee engagement is discussed in broad terms, with a section focusing on “The Changing Place and Space of Work”


Other Recommended Reading: WX Design

There are hundreds of articles, books, and blog posts on the subject of designing an optimal physical workplace experience. Here are some of my favourites.

Elemental Workplace

Book by Neil Usher

Elemental Standard

A no-nonsense checklist for evaluating workplace effectiveness

Assessment tool by Neil Usher

Measure What Matters

Six shifts in the way workplaces are being planned for people

2016 White Paper by Herman Miller

Optimizing the Workplace for Innovation

Using brain science for smart design

2017 White Paper by Haworth

Engagement and the Global Workplace

Report by Steelcase and Ipsos

Hedonistic Sustainability

TED Talk by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels

Activity Based Working

2016 Report by Leesman

How We Can Create Unique Workspaces

TED Talk by Nigel Oseland

The Impact of Psychological Needs on Office Design

Academic paper by Nigel Oseland

Managing by Design

Academic paper by Gruber, de Leon, George and Thompson

Workplace Strategies that Enhance Performance, Health and Wellness

Article by HOK design firm

The Economics of Biophilia

White Paper by design consultancy Terrapin Bright Green

Bonus Reading: Overall Employee Experience

These resources aren’t specifically about the physical office, but give helpful context on the big picture view of the global employee experience. I believe that the most creative workplace solutions will come as a result of interdisciplinary collaborations within the fields of facilities management, real estate, technology, human resources, healthcare, psychology and design. 


The surprising truth about what motivates us

Ted talk (and Book) by Daniel Pink

Quiet Revolution

Unlocking the power of introverts

Movement (based on a Book) by Susan Cain

Top HR Statistics

Article by Glassdoor for Employers

Health: Our Business II

The dawn of a workplace health system

Report by The Global Chief Medical Officers’ Network

Eight Ways to Redesign the Workplace for 2018

Article by Open IDEO

The Employee Experience: Culture, Engagement, and Beyond

2017 Global Human Capital Trends

Article by Deloitte Insights

Employees Rising

Seizing the opportunity in employee activism

Report by Weber and Shandwick

Design Kit

Toolkit by IDEO

Workplace 2020

The future of cloud- based technology in the flexible workplace

White Paper by Google

Copyright 2018 by Alyson McPhee, All Rights Reserved