Correlations between Ethics, Productivity and the Workplace

August 25th, 2011 by Anne Thoraval

Business etiquette may vary with time and place, but business ethics tend to be universal. Confucius’ saying that “to go beyond is as wrong as to fall short” resonates well with Einstein’s commentary that “relativity applies to physics, not ethics”.

Interestingly for real estate professionals, the latest
Ethisphere/Jones Lang LaSalle survey (read the summary or the entire report) reaches the conclusion that a correlation exists between ethics and the workplace.

• Firstly, the vast majority of respondents (81%) believe that open offices, which cause staff to be more visible to one another, generally improve ethical behavior compared to individual offices. Moreover, 21 % believe they experienced a lower level of ethics violations in their open office spaces, compared to perceived occurrences in closed individual offices.

• Secondly, flexible working comes with very good ethics ratios. Out of the 68% of responding companies allowing their employees to work from home on a regular basis, 89 % reported having no ethics violations during the past two years among their work-from-home employees.

In the U.S., open and flexible workplaces are increasingly gaining favor among corporations seeking to simultaneously improve corporate culture and morale while reducing the costs and environmental impacts associated with an oversized real estate footprint. In addition to less employee misconduct and better space utilization, these strategies are seen as increasing employee engagement, retention and productivity. A number of benefits that companies here in APAC cannot do without.

In the region, advanced workplace strategies (AWS) are also gaining traction, as Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global CRE Survey 2011 highlights. Although the drivers are most of the time not ethics related, this trend puts companies based in APAC in a position to reap the positive side effects of open and flexible workplaces.

To hear Jones Lang LaSalle’s Patricia Roberts’ insights into the correlation between open office environments and company ethics, click here. To hear Jones Lang LaSalle’s Mark Ohringer discuss how true bottom line benefit comes from creating an ethical culture, click here.

About the author
Anne Thoraval is the Head of Corporate Research for Jones Lang LaSalle in APAC, based in Singapore.


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