No organization can succeed if its workforce isn’t engaged. And yet the signals are stronger than ever that far too many high-potential employees are chronically disengaged at work—unmotivated, unproductive and overly stressed, with little capacity to think creatively, collaborate successfully and generate the innovative solutions that organizations desire.

Usually, the problem isn’t that the wrong people were hired. Instead, the problem is that workers aren’t getting enough of an ingredient that’s essential to the formula for engagement: occasional privacy. Most workplaces today are designed to provide collaboration for many and privacy for only a select few. As work has become quicker paced and more demanding, workers’ unmet needs for privacy have escalated. Lack of privacy is most employees’ number-one complaint about their workplaces, and the imbalance has now reached crisis proportions.

By researching the privacy crisis globally, Steelcase researchers have identified the various types of privacy experiences that workers are seeking. We’ve then applied these insights to create concepts for how privacy can be achieved through workplace design in order to amplify the performance of individuals, teams and entire enterprises.

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