A workplace transformation is taking place right before our eyes.
In pre-COVID days, only 7% of US workers had the option to regularly work from home. And, the ability to work remotely was determined by job function. The coronavirus changed that almost overnight. Now—and for the foreseeable future—50% of the workforce will likely be working across an ecosystem that balances office, home, and third places.
We’ve been studying what this seismic shift in the workplace means. What we’ve discovered is that in this new ecosystem where more people can work in a multitude of spaces, the office is becoming more dynamic, experiential, and valued than ever.
The Evolution of the Office
As people move among workspaces, the role of the office has become more important as a place of social context. The office is now a hub. It’s where organizational culture is built. Where we connect face-to-face as individuals and teams. Where collaboration takes place.
Interactions with colleagues make us happier and more engaged at work. And, the office is the place best suited for functional groups focused on creativity and client-facing activities.
70% of people want to work in the office the majority of their week.
The post-pandemic office is evolving quickly. Office spaces are being redesigned to better fit organizational cultures. There’s a new emphasis on community and social spaces to support interaction while people are in the office. There’s also attention to building in flexibility that allows organizations to react to short-term, unplanned events, which helps manage uncertainty for employees.
Advantages of Home and Third Places
For many, home is a productive workplace for focus work and reading as well as virtual meetings and scheduled calls. The absence of a commute also allows workers more time for work/life balance.
Third places are
ideal for activities like meetings over coffee, socializing and, for
some, focus work. They also provide places to work while traveling, so
productivity doesn’t lag while employees are on the road.
People Want Flexibility That Includes Office Time
While people welcome the ability to work at home and third places, they still want time in the office. Take a look at these stats from a survey by BisNow:
In our findings from participating in the Global Working from Home Survey conducted by Leesman, we learned that one of the reasons people want options outside home and third places is because they struggle with finding the right balance with work/life, physical activity, and connection to both their organization and colleagues.
There’s great value in remote work, but the office will remain the epicenter of what makes work happen, to help people perform their best.
Real Gains from a Flexible Work Ecosystem
Going forward, finding balance in supporting personal interaction and collaboration—both virtually and physically—will be vital. Organizations that recognize this will adopt a Work from Anywhere ecosystem to support the well-being of their teams. Plus, the ecosystem will also serve as an attraction/retention strategy for talent because it offers improved work/life balance through flexible schedules.
Shifts in where we work require solutions that allow people to be effective and real estate to be efficient. To learn more about the transformation of the workplace, explore our Work from Anywhere approach.