Places to belong: practical considerations for an inclusive workplace

In a peer-reviewed paper for the Corporate Real Estate Journal, MillerKnoll experts provide a practical roadmap for elevating the role of inclusive design to enable employees to feel they belong

The need to belong has become one of the most powerful impulses for employees in the new workplace. For corporate real estate leaders, it makes sense to focus workplace strategy on a sense of belonging.

But strengthening community, promoting a positive culture and ensuring equitable opportunities for all employees requires careful planning.

A peer-reviewed paper provides a MillerKnoll guide to creating ‘places to belong’ and presents some foundational elements that can be directly imported into an organisation’s existing workplace strategy.

The paper, entitled ‘Places to belong: Practical considerations for creating inclusive and impactful places of work,’ is published in the Corporate Real Estate Journal Vol 12 No 1 (2022).

‘Moving from a duty of compliance to creating a sense of belonging…’

Its MillerKnoll co-authors are: Ryan Anderson, Vice President of Global Research and Insights; Jolene De Jong, Application Design Specialist; and Joseph White, Director of Design Strategy.

The paper sets out the opportunity to move from ‘a duty of compliance’ to accommodate the special needs of a few within office spaces, to creating ‘a sense of belonging’ for highly diverse communities. To achieve this, CRE teams should elevate their role beyond managing assets to unlocking the potential of people. This means forming a closer partnership with HR departments.

The MillerKnoll paper presents three lenses to ensure more inclusive place design:

  • Go beyond ‘barrier- free’ – spaces that are welcoming to all build belonging
  • Make it intuitive and desirable – our senses subconsciously read the world around us
  • Advance autonomy and achievement – an environment can strengthen the resolve or improve the abilities of people.

Read the full Corporate Real Estate Journal paper here.

Find exclusive content in the


Premium content for Global Partners, Corporate and Community Members.
The latest analysis and commentary on the future of work and workplace in five distinct themes: Research & Insights, Case Studies, Expert Interviews, Trend Publications, and Technology Guides.