Purpose at Work

Research shows that fostering a sense of purpose at work pays large dividends to individuals as well as the organizations that employ them.

Office employees work and talk in a communal environment with various seating options.

Research shows that one of the most effective ways to cultivate a workforce that achieves ambitious goals is to foster each employee’s sense of purpose. Progressive business leaders agree. A recent survey of 39 industries across the U.S. found that 79 percent of business leaders believed “purpose is central to business success.”1

A sense of purpose is one of six fundamental human needs, which also include security, autonomy, belonging, status, and achievement.2 Purpose drives individual improvement and fulfillment, helping people and their organizations prosper. People want and need meaningful work, and organizations need purpose-filled employees to solve problems, innovate, and grow.

Ongoing studies with our Living Office Research Partners from a variety of industries demonstrate that forward-thinking organizations and their design partners can create workplaces that support the individual’s sense of purpose with designs that enhance communication, connection, and empowered action.

1. PWC. Putting Purpose to Work: A study of purpose in the workplace. June 2016

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