Belonging at Work

Workplace designs that fulfill the human need for belonging improve employee engagement and productivity. 

Young co-workers collaborate in an open space featuring a table, Setu office chair, and cushion-top files used as bench seating.

Did you know that the desire to belong is a fundamental and powerful motivator at work? A recent study found that business leaders can build a sense of belonging among people by helping people identify with organizational values and create meaningful connections with one another. This, in turn, helps boost employee engagement and improve performance.

Belonging is one of six fundamental human needs, which also include security, purpose, autonomy, status, and achievement. We identified these needs through an in-depth review of literature, studies, and research from the past 80 years.1 Workplaces that foster a sense of belonging have more engaged, higher performing, and satisfied employees.

Ongoing studies with our Living Office Research Partners from a variety of industries demonstrate that successful and proactive organizations and their design partners are creating workplaces that support the individual’s sense of belonging. See how these industry leaders are implementing designs that offer a variety of settings to encourage social interaction, and by carefully planning physical proximities, traffic paths, and sight lines across the landscape.

1. Herman Miller, “Fundamental Human Needs,” company confidential, March 2015.