Weekly Editorial

Gensler's Impactful Research Initiatives

Written By Rob Kirkbride, Editor-in-chief, OI Publications • October 30, 2023

The Insider_Weekly_Editorial Section_10.30.23

All this month, I’ve used this space to focus on research. From the great work being done by INDEAL Cares about the health and wellness in our industry to the work being done to help dealers understand the marketplace by Solomon Coyle to BIFMA’s work with manufacturers and ThinkLab’s deep understanding about designers, the industry has a number of good sources when it comes to research.

As the interior design profession grows in importance, I want to point out the research that is being done by all the major design firms like Perkins&Will, HOK, Nelson and others. I’m going to highlight the research work being done specifically by Gensler. While I appreciate all the research from every design firm that conducts it, Gensler’s is exemplary.

In 2005, the Gensler Research Institute was established to seek out data and insights at the intersection of design, business, and the human experience. What the Gensler Research Institute seeks is both simple and nearly impossible — insights focused on solving the world’s most pressing challenges.

This year alone, the Gensler Research Institute has funded 50 research projects and more than 450 research projects have been funded to date. What makes Gensler’s research particularly rich is the fact that everyone at Gensler has the opportunity to participate. The projects are mostly designer-driven and gives every Gensler designer the opportunity to participate in research and ask big questions, take risks and learn something new.

Research is sorted into six areas of focus: workplace, cities, lifestyle, equity, resilience and health. Of course, the research makes Gensler better as well. According to the company, research “…enhances our expertise, provides us with a competitive edge across the design industry and helps us continually improve the design we deliver to our clients.”

I have pointed readers of this column countless times to Gensler research reports, which are available to anyone who wants to read them. I would highly encourage you to do so. The reports they publish are deeply researched and interesting to read. A recent example is Gensler’s Global Workplace Survey Comparison 2023.

According to the report, “Office work has changed since the pandemic. Employees are exercising their choice to work fluidly between different workspaces inside and outside the office in search of environments that support specific types of work they are conducting. The workplace is facing significant competition to be a work destination of choice to employees — and currently, it’s not delivering what employees need.

“Gensler’s latest Global Workplace Survey Comparison report reveals that there are remarkable commonalities across the world between how employees are working in 2023 and how the workplace is responding to change. Successful workplace performance is rooted in office space effectiveness and workplace experience — the presence of both results in workplaces that drive better outcomes for individuals, teams, and businesses. Currently, just 43% of surveyed workplaces offer effective spaces and great workplace experiences; one-third have neither. This global workplace study exposes the gaps in workplace performance and offers opportunities for the workplace to meet the moment.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Gensler’s research page is filled with information that will keep your designers, marketers and executives busy for days figuring out how to use the research to inform projects, spot trends and understand difficult topics.

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