Informal Spaces

Five Things We’re Thankful for at Work

Thanksgiving is a time when we can sit back, take stock and express gratitude for the good things in our lives. In between bites of turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, take a minute to think about what you’re thankful for at work. If you work a 40 hour week, you spend nearly 2,000 hours a year working. What do you look forward to each day?

Steelcase asked our community on social media: What are you thankful at work? Here’s some of what people told us. We’d love to hear what you’re thankful for at work. Leave your comment at the bottom of this article.

Choice + Control

Carly: “I’m thankful for flexibility! As a busy working mom, it’s great to work in a culture where you can excel at your job and still meet the needs of your family.”

Kimberly: “I am thankful for a company who respects work-life balance and amazing co-workers.”


Carly and Kimberly aren’t alone. By giving people choice and control over how and where they get their work done, employees are more likely to be engaged at work. The Steelcase Global Report: Engagement and the Global Workplace is the first to study the correlation between engagement and the work environment. It found 88% of highly engaged employees are able to choose where they work within the office based on the task they’re doing. That’s compared to only 14% of highly disengaged people.


Lisa: “Leadership. (And I mean good leadership that makes you want to excel, not the kind that you fear.)”

Angela: “I am so very thankful for my boss and my director for helping me navigate a few really tough years in my life. They both supported me by either taking the time to understand my issues, by helping me talk through things and by figuring out flexible ways to accomplish my tasks.”

Patrick: “Coaching.”

Knowledge Building + Networking

A number of people wrote to us about being thankful for supportive, good leaders. Recently, the Harvard Business Review studied 195 leaders in 15 different countries to determine the most important leadership competencies. Here’s five of HBR’s top 10:

  • High ethical and moral standards
  • Provides goals and objectives with loose guidelines/direction
  • Clearly communicates expectations
  • Committed to ongoing training
  • Creates a feeling of succeeding and failing together

Around the world, people are looking for leaders who foster a sense of belonging, empower people and encourage employee growth.


Clara: “Colleagues who band together.”

Gary: “Teammates who help a newbie figure out how to teach!”


Both Clara and Gary told us they are thankful for having supportive colleagues. The Steelcase Global Report echos their comments. It showed that 94% of highly engaged and highly satisfied people are able to work in teams without interruption and 98% feel they can easily and freely share ideas. Those numbers are nearly 80% less for highly disengaged and highly dissatisfied employees.

Design, Materiality + Performance

Sandeep: “The design of our workplace should be able to make us work more effectively and efficiently. I’m thankful for the balance of comfort (ergonomics) and aesthetics.”


Sandeep describes how the workplace can address people’s emotions, physical health and their ability to think and solve problems. In an increasingly complex global environment, we’re all moving at a rapid pace. We need a work environment that energizes and inspires us, supports us physically and gives us areas to focus, collaborate or rejuvenate when necessary. Thoughtfully created destinations blend design, materiality and performance, and give people freedom to choose where and how they work.

To read more about design strategies to support the new ways people are working, read the latest issue of 360 Magazine “The Office Renaissance: A Rebirth. And Why It Matters.

Bring Nature In

David: “Love this question! I’m thankful for our floor-to-ceiling windows. The natural light gives me energy late in the afternoon.”

Inspiring Spaces

David echoes another finding from the Steelcase Global Report. Of those people who describe themselves as highly engaged and highly satisfied at work, 98% are satisfied with the lighting at work. For highly disengaged and highly dissatisfied people, that number drops to 39%.

Tell us what you’re thankful for at work by commenting below.

Featured Topic:  Informal Spaces

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