According to our latest research, the majority of US office workers feel their current workplace enables them to be themselves and reach their full potential. However, similarly to our findings across Europe and Australia, they still wish for greater flexibility.

Rethinking Workplace: USA explores the most pressing wants and needs of US office workers, in comparison to their European and Australian counterparts. Bringing together data from 6,100 office workers from all three continents, the report paints a clearer picture of workplace trends across the globe.

The current landscape

Overall, the research shows one defining takeaway: US office workers want greater flexibility. And that is specifically in terms of not only when but also where they work. 52% believe they are at their most productive in the office, but highlight that meeting their responsibilities both at home and when at work is “a constant juggling act”.

Could the solution be ‘worklife’?

Office workers in the US are much more likely to be given the option to occasionally work from home than European or Australian workers (84% in the USA versus 49% in Europe and 60% in Australia).

However, it’s concerning to see that 88% of the US workers also currently undertake more than their contracted hours, with 10% stating that meeting their responsibilities in and outside of work is an “impossibility”.

So, although worklife is widely perceived as being beneficial to greater personal and professional wellbeing, for many US workers it actually seems to be demanding more work time.

“88% of the US workforce undertake more than their contracted hours.”
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What workers want

Similarly to the trend identified across Europe and Australia, wellbeing was highlighted as a top priority for US office workers, with 20% pointing to health and wellbeing packages as the most attractive workplace perk. In terms of workplace design, excessive noise was the number one concern.

Quieten the noise

With 59% US workers currently operating in open plan settings, there is ample space for collaboration but potentially not so much scope for ‘heads down’ work. It is perhaps unsurprising then, that excessive noise was identified as the greatest cause for concern.

Boundaries that support flexibility

A whopping three quarters of US office workers see the growing convergence between home and work as a benefit. This contrasts with the response received by the designers in our European-based focus group event, which suggests that more people are trying to push back and reclaim space between work and life.

In fact, flexible working hours were the most desired ‘perk’ for US office workers. But with so much overtime being undertaken, there perhaps needs to be greater separation.

For more insight into how the US benchmarks against Europe and Australia, download the ‘Rethinking Workplace: US Overview’ report here.*

*Please note: this research was carried out before the global Covid-19 pandemic. We are, however, already in the process of researching the impact the pandemic has workplace trends across the world. Keep your eyes peeled for the first results coming soon on our ‘Rethinking Workplace' hub.

Rethinking Workplace - USA Overview
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Leslie Thompson Director of Workplace Strategy, Tarkett

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