Workplace Bytes – June 2023

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Welcome to this month’s edition of Workplace Bytes, a rundown of articles and reports on the future of work, office occupancy trends, and how workplace leaders (like you) are blazing new trails as teams return to offices.

What’s making waves in the world of workplace this month?

  • New global research on the state of office utilization
  • Latest CBRE US Office Occupier Sentiment Survey 
  • Pulling back the mandate: hybrid work prevails 
  • Meeting your team’s evolving workplace needs
  • JPMorgan Chase’s NEW hybrid workplace strategy

Let’s jump in…

New Global Research to Help You Benchmark Your Office Utilization

You asked for utilization benchmarks, we listened…

This month, we were excited to launch the XY Sense Workplace Utilization Index, a new quarterly report to help real estate and workplace teams explore macro workplace trends, benchmark utilization performance and contextualize their workplace strategy moving forward.

What’s inside:

  • Exclusive data from ~25,000 office spaces, across 17 countries
  • The current average rate of office utilization (Globally + in specific geos)
  • How return-to-office programs are tracking globally (YoY+ MoM benchmarks)
  • How hybrid is impacting the work week globally (Popular days for office attendance & trends)
  • Macro trends in changes to floor plans/ fit outs to support hybrid workplaces
  • Average desk & meeting room utilization rates in the hybrid era
  • Average utilization vs. capacity of meeting rooms (a.k.a. what’s the highest performing meeting space type)

Juicy right? Market-wide utilization data like this is not available anywhere else. Download it now!

Snapshot: Latest CBRE US Office Occupancy Survey 

CBRE’s Spring 2023 Office Occupier Sentiment Survey reveals how organizations are adapting strategies on return to office mandates, office utilization goals and portfolio downsizing.

Here are the key stats that caught our attention:

  • 71% of compare are stipulating or mandating at least a partial return to the office
  • Of those that now require office attendance, only 41% are leveraging any type of technology to track attendance

  • 60% report that they believe office utilization has settled at a steady state, meaning that many companies have accepted less-than-full utilization as the new normal
  • Sixty-six percent of respondents indicated they were moving away from individual seat assignments toward a greater ratio of seat sharing.Fifty-two percent are planning up to a 2-to-1 employee/seat ratio, while 15% are planning up to a 3-to-1 ratio. Only one-quarter of respondents plan to keep a 1-to-1 ratio or less.

Review the entire study and download a copy here

Meeting Your Team’s Evolving Workplace Needs

A major study named “Returning for Good,” conducted by Unispace, has just been published. The study, based on the comments of 16,000+ employees and employers across 17 countries, is chock full of fascinating data points on:

Employee & employer sentiment on return to office

  • 74% of employers are struggling to keep employees happy and engaged
  • Hybrid is the most common workplace model for firms globally with just 50% of the global workforce in the office for four or more days each week
  • Globally, employees prefer to attend the office an average of 2.8 days per week
  • 87% of employers surveyed eventually expect all employees to transition to four days working from the office (vs. just 39% of employees)
  • An insanely high amount (88% of employees and 78% of employers) are willing to trial the four day work week. With 46% of employees even stating they would be willing to return to the office for the full four days!

Working preferences

  • Almost half (44%) of WFH time tends to be used for individual focus work or deep concentration work
  • 69% of office workers prefer brainstorms to be in person
  • 60% preferred that meetings with managers/supervisors be face-to-face

When it comes to the office experience, employers are underestimating employee dislikes about the office experience.

31% of employees globally cited their number one office dislike as a lack of privacy they could otherwise access at home. Being more effective in a quiet environment remotely, ranked second (27%), while feeling more productive at home came third (23%).

Definitely worth a read. Download it here.

Investing in Tomorrow: JPMorgan’s New Hybrid Workplace Strategy

In case you needed any more proof that hybrid is here to stay, it appears that een the staunchest proponents of the office experience, such as Elon Musk and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, have conceded hybrid workplace models are now a fixture of American business.

But perhaps not for all workers?

In this interview with McKinsey, David Arena of JPMorgan Chase predicts that a hybrid working model will encompass approximately 40% of his workforce.

Arena also discusses the importance of synthesizing technology, workplace design, and employee experience to drive higher performance. Purpose-built spaces that facilitate collaboration, knowledge transfer, and culture-building will drive unique value for businesses in the future.

A big part of their strategy is a focus on flexibility and modular design, ensuring that their real estate can evolve with the changing needs of the workforce and a seamless integration of remote and on-site workers. Read the perspective here.

Podcast: Why Digital Technology Is Crucial For Sustainability

Metrikus podcast The Measure provides some thought-provoking ideas on the meaning and value of sustainability in the workplace, and the critical role that technology will play in creating a sustainable future.

Host Michael Grant is joined by Miranda Hill, Executive, Global Sustainability Leader at Avanade to discuss this important topic. They conclude that embedding sustainability into strategy and operations is crucial for long-term success. It is not just a passing trend, but a continuous effort that requires efficient reporting mechanisms and technological integrations throughout the organization. By doing so, organizations can unlock cost efficiencies, explore new revenue opportunities, and achieve operational efficiencies. Listen here.

That’s it for this month’s update. Thanks for reading!

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