Capital One’s 2018 Work Environment Survey Results


When Capital One’s Workplace Solutions Team released their first survey in 2017, it created quite a stir and was featured across all news platforms focused on workplace design, including Work Design Magazine. As the concept of work and where we work is rapidly evolving, we were interested in seeing how the research from the first survey changed when the second survey was released in November 2018. We reconnected with Capital One’s Workplace Solutions team, the group that is dedicated to building dynamic and scalable workplaces, implementing sustainability initiatives and on-site experiences, including health and wellness benefits.

After reading through the survey, we started off our conversation with the following question:

What does today’s talent need, want, and expect from their work environment? 

Our questions were directed to Vice President, Workplace Solutions at Capital One, Stefanie Spurlin, who was able to give us some great background on how their research is informing their ongoing workplace design decisions.

The 2018 Capital One Workplace Environment Survey asked 3,500 full-time office professionals, 18 and over, to share their thoughts about the impact of workplace design and employee experience on their satisfaction, creativity, and productivity at work.

The responses were comprised of 1,000 nationwide + 2,500 combined designated markets (500 per market) for a total of 3,500 replies.

Do you think widening the market (the combined results) made an overall difference in the information or feedback?

  • Collecting national data in addition to the five key markets we started within the first year of the survey gave us a broader look at the national workforce and helped validate trends we saw in the first year of data. That said, it also helped us realize that a lot of the things people are looking for from employers and their workplaces are universal. There were slight increases in specific year-over-year comparisons which helped us identify critical trends when you consider the added layer of national data. For example:

  • In 2018, 40 percent of respondents said it’s essential that their workspace is flexible, up six percent from 2017

  • 88 percent find flexible workplace design to be important, up three percent from 2017.

In the Capital One’s Plano, Texas facility, there are a variety of workspaces for collaborative work, with a choice of seating and meeting space options. Photo by Parscale.

In the Capital One’s Plano, Texas facility, there are a variety of workspaces for collaborative work, with a choice of seating and meeting space options. Photo by Parscale.

Are there any measurable statistics you can cite concerning recruitment and retention based on the workplace changes you have implemented? If so, what do you think are the primary drivers of those changes?

One of our goals for the overall workplace strategy and approach is to support the recruitment and retention of talent for our company.  The survey highlighted that people are willing to prioritize workplace design over other critical factors like commute time when looking for their next job, so having a data-driven design strategy is an integral part of ensuring we are providing the right balance of elements which allow us to attract and retain that top talent.

  • Two in three employees (66 percent) say that workplace design is as important, or more critical, than workplace location.

  • Executive level employees feel even more strongly. More than 3 in 4 (76 percent) say workplace design is as, or more, important than workplace location, compared to just 63 percent of non-executives.