How workplace design drives employee productivity

When LPL Financial sought out to build its new San Diego headquarters in an effort to bring together its more than 1,500 area employees, the firm saw an opportunity for more than just creating space efficiency. The new workplace offered the chance to create an engaging, collaborative and inspiring workplace that would support employee well-being, demonstrate the firm’s corporate commitment to sustainability and further differentiate LPL as an employer of choice in the region.

Previously, LPL’s San Diego employees had been spread out among seven office buildings. Bringing the company together under one roof was an important move for cross-functional engagement and has helped develop a stronger sense of company culture that had previously been associated more narrowly by department.

On a basic level, employees are more productive when they are healthy and comfortable, and these elements were central to the design of the facility.

Employees have embraced the new onsite health and fitness center, which features a certified wellness manager, and a cafeteria with healthy food options. More than 1,000 employees are enrolled in the onsite fitness center, and the health clinic has logged more than 300 employee visits since its opening in mid-September. These amenities also provide a better work-life balance, which was reflected as a contributor to employee productivity in a recent survey we conducted.

Effective design also contributed to productivity. The building’s open concept design provides greater access to natural light, which makes employees feel physically better. Customized furniture designed to accommodate various work styles — such as sit-stand desks and under-floor air-distribution systems with diffusers that allow employees to control the flow of air into their individual workspace — also create a more comfortable workspace.

According to an LPL Corporate Real Estate survey of 400 employees, a comfortable workspace is directly tied to worker productivity. Employees said the new office design has increased productivity, with employees crediting the design of their workspace, increased collaboration and their wellbeing as contributors.

More than 60% of employees polled agreed with the statement, “My assigned workstation helps me do my best work every day,” and more than 76% agreed with the statement, “The [new office space] provides a variety of spaces to accomplish my work.” Meanwhile, 84% said the workplace supports teamwork.

“It is rewarding to know unequivocally that investments in the work environment are investments that deliver improved productivity.”

With great intention put toward design elements and site features that support employee wellbeing, the new worksite has, in fact, delivered dividends. Happier and more productive employees can better serve LPL’s clients and that ultimately creates a return on the investment made in LPL’s employees and the worksite.

“It is rewarding to know unequivocally that investments in the work environment are investments that deliver improved productivity,” says Sallie Larsen, LPL managing director and chief human capital officer. “With such positive results in San Diego, we are eager to create the same innovative workspace in the Carolinas to provide employees with the best environment to be enabled to deliver the best service to our clients.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.