The Numbers Are In: See Just How Much Chicagoans Want Office Flexibility

When it comes to employee retention, workplace design and flexibility are more important than ever, according to a new survey by Capital One. While the survey was national in scope, it also focused on office workers' opinions of their space in some larger metropolitan statistical areas, including Chicago.

"The results of the 2018 Work Environment Survey clearly demonstrate the importance of design and flexibility to professionals across the country," Capital One Vice President, Workplace Solutions Stefanie Spurlin said in a statement. "By providing dynamic spaces to accommodate all kinds of work styles, companies can help facilitate collaboration and innovation."

One of the key findings for Chicago workers is that design drives innovation. For the second year in a row, 82% of Chicagoans surveyed believe companies can't encourage innovation unless their workplace environment is innovative.

Eighty-five percent of Chicago office workers surveyed believe it is important that their next employer be an early adopter of technology. That finding is consistent with the national average, according to Capital One.

Flexibility is a must: 84% of Chicago respondents said they have their best ideas when working in flexible space options, up two points from 2017, and 83% say they are more productive when they change physical location while working.

Seventy-nine percent rank a flexible schedule in their top two reasons to stay at a company, and 70% — up from 65% in 2017 — want flexible hours from their employer. Design elements that matter most for the Chicagoans surveyed include natural light (63%), easily reconfigurable furniture and spaces (47%, up from 43% in 2017) and artwork and creative imagery (40%), Capital One said.