Changing your office doesn’t always need to be because of growth.

Having engaged employees doesn’t only mean having a hip culture and energetic teammates. It also means creating better business outcomes. 

The majority of the U.S. workforce (51%) is not engaged, according to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report. These employees represent a group that neither likes nor dislikes their job. The good news is, this population could be swung by better engagement tactics. 

Adjusting your workplace isn’t something only to consider when you’re outgrowing it. Looking at your office space as an employee engagement tool can do wonders for your efforts in creating a more profitable, satisfied, and committed team.  

The business case for engaged employees

The importance of keeping your employees engaged is backed by some compelling numbers. Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year. We know that engaged employees make a point to show up to work and do more, as Gallup also reports that teams with high engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. 

Gallup also finds engaged workers also are more likely to stay with their employers. In high-turnover organizations, engaged teams achieve 24% less turnover. They also saw improved customer outcomes with a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales. Between turnover and increased customer happiness, engaged organizations experience 21% greater profitability.  

Wellness as engagement

Wellness is continuing to be paramount to employee engagement. In fact, 70% of employers have improved their physical environments to encourage healthy behaviors, and 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to gain this edge in your workplace. Willis Towers’ research on reshaping the physical environment to encourage healthy behavior suggests adding healthy foods to break rooms, clean-eating restaurant delivery menus, ergonomic workstations, and natural lighting as simple but effective ways to support employee wellness.

The open office

Open offices are great for engagement, since having visibility into what your teammates are working on can improve motivation and participation. Desire to collaborate with your team often starts from the top down, so it’s important to have upper management on board with using the space in a collaborative way. 

Perhaps that means leadership has glass offices, or hosts as many meetings as appropriate in an open area or community space. The key here is creating an environment where any employee feels that they’re a part of a team and have the ability to affect growth.

Additionally, spaces like game rooms, lounges, and cafes create opportunities for organic interactions and collaboration with members from all different levels of your business. 

Balance with options for privacy

Open offices are great for teams. But if people can’t take a phone call privately or have some concentration time, you risk disengagement. 

If your office values an open layout, consider building phone booths, some desks with semi-dividers and sound absorbing material, or introduce a ‘quiet area’ that’s still open but intended for people working with their heads down. 

Make your values & progress visible

Teams are most engaged when they can see or measure the outcomes of their work. Posting a whiteboard in a community area with weekly contests, a leaderboard for certain sales goals, or general progress on a big project everyone’s working on can be seriously motivating for your employees. 

Building the right office environment for your team is maximized by clarifying your company’s mission and framing it with core values. Make these values visible and apparent in your office with artwork or amenities. Have a very musical team? Create a place they can pluck on a guitar. Are your employees passionate about cocktails? Check out Martin Williams Mpls Headquarters with it’s take on a bourbon-filled game room. 

Ask your team!

92% of CEOs feel their organization is empathetic, but only 50% of their employees say their CEO is empathetic. A great way to make your team feel empathized with is to ask their opinion on what they’d love to have in their office. 

At no cost, we can help compile a survey for your team on what their dreams are for their ideal workspace. You’re fostering engagement just by showing that you care if your staff enjoys coming to work.

For the modern workforce, many employees won’t settle for an organization that’s not prioritizing engagement in a meaningful way. For leaders, this means a culture of engagement is no longer an option. Much of this stems from if they love walking into the office. To talk more about engagement as it relates to your workplace – connect with Eddie Rymer at, or 651-226-7835.


Eddie Rymer
SVP - Avison Young