Nearly 3 in 5 American Office Workers Place High Importance on Access to Private Work Areas to Produce Their Best Work, According to New Fellowes Brands Survey

Fellowes Brands Survey on Office Design and Worker Performance Comes as In-Office Attendance Recently Reached Highest Point Since Start of COVID-19 Pandemic

American office workers are back in offices more regularly than any time since March 2020 (according to Kastle Systems), and they have one leading request to produce their best work while working at the office: access to more privacy.

Fellowes Brands, a family-owned company providing trusted workplace solutions for 105 years, on Nov. 15 announced results from its recent national Survey on Office Design and Worker Performance, which found 58% of respondents place high importance on access to private work areas to produce their best work at the office.

American office workers have one leading request to produce their best work at the office: access to more privacy.  

Respondents value private work areas nearly twice as much as collaboration zones, such as conference rooms and group huddle areas. Only 32% of respondents said access to collaborative work areas are very important to produce their best work.

Fellowes Brands conducted the survey of 1,131 American workers who work on-site for their employer at a workstation that includes a computer and a desk in late October.

The survey also identified a missed opportunity for employers seeking to make their offices more appealing places to work. Only 24% of respondents completely agree that their employer cares about their input when setting up personal employee work stations.

Office workers said they want more flexibility and adaptability in the design of their office workstations as well. 82% of respondents said flexibility to set up their desk to best fit their needs is important for producing their best work, and 80% said flexibility in computer monitor set up is important.

“More employees are back in offices, and with their return comes the need for employers to create more adaptable workspaces that can offer the privacy and workspace setup flexibility they want to produce their best work,” said Todd Holderness, General Manager of Contract Interiors for Fellowes Brands. “Whether the solution is turning open floor plan space or low-height cubicles into modular offices, investing in desks with desktop power outlets, or offering computer monitor arms that put control in employees’ hands to arrange their screens exactly how they want them, it’s clear that employers have opportunities to increase office attendance and employee productivity through some strategic improvements.”

While office occupancy continues to sit near a post-2020 high, remote work opportunities remain plentiful for nearly half of American office workers. 45% of survey respondents reported working a hybrid schedule of office and a remote location on a weekly basis, placing offices in direct competition with home offices and other remote locales for the private and adaptable work areas employees are seeking to produce their best work.

“Many office workers who worked remotely during the pandemic had complete autonomy and flexibility to set up their home workspaces exactly as they wanted to, which is guiding some of the preferences we saw in this study,” said Holderness. “As more employees increase their time at the office in this new hybrid environment, employers should consider the preferences their employees have acquired. They can do this by designing more adaptable workplaces that balance private and collaborative work areas and offer flexible furniture and accessories that put the employees in control and in the zone, enabling them to produce their best work.”

About Fellowes Brands

Celebrating its 105th year under the private ownership and executive leadership of the Fellowes family, Fellowes Brands is a global leader of broad-based business solutions that help professionals be their best and feel their best. Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, USA, Fellowes Brands operates from 24 locations across the globe. For more information, please visit

About the Survey

Fellowes Brands fielded a survey on Oct. 20, 2022, about American office worker topics via SurveyMonkey Audience to 1,131 U.S. adults who are employed full-time or part-time and who work at least part of the time inside their employer’s location and have a workstation that includes a computer and a desk. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 2.974%.