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Regional Employee Preferences and Global Workplace Strategy

A Multinational Study and Recommendations

Multinationals can refine global workspace strategy by understanding employee priorities

With global business on the rise, multinational organizations are challenged to create a manageable workspace strategy that makes efficient use of capital - but also respects regional preferences and expectations for office space. To assist, Knoll embarked on an international study to understand similarities and differences between North American and “Rest of World” employees in how they rated the importance of a wide variety of workspace design and technology capabilities.

We gathered survey data from more than 20,000 employees of three US multinational organizations in the financial services and consulting industries, across twelve global geographic regions.

Key Findings:

  • Overall, the physical workspace is highly important to employees - regardless of geographic location.
  • There are more similarities than differences between North American and Rest of World employees – they rated the same top eight (out of nineteen) workspace features as most important.
  • North American employees place top priority on a narrower set of workplace capabilities: choice over work location and type of workspace, and technology support for collaboration. Rest of World employees also highly value choice of workspace type, in addition to broader issues such as having an engaging workplace, and physical comfort and ergonomics.