Workplace Bytes – November 2022

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Workplace Bytes

Welcome to the latest issue of XY Sense Workplace Bytes, a curated collection of news and insights for workplace and property professionals. 

Value of Sensors in Return to Work Environment

A JLL research survey of 1095 enterprises released in October underscored the value of introducing workplace technologies, including occupancy and environmental sensors, as part of a successful return to work strategy. According to the survey, 21% of businesses had already installed occupancy and/or environmental sensors, and that figure was expected to rise to 56% in the next year. Over the next three years, 77% said their companies would install sensors. The report discusses sensors and many other technologies that will help empower companies to be successful with hybrid work models. 

New Global Occupancy Survey Data

A recent global AWA survey reported the following figures for average occupancy by day:

Banking, Healthcare, Higher Education, and Energy show the highest reported occupancy rates:

Of course, it’s always important to remember that survey data tend to overestimate occupancy rates – respondents are conditioned to overestimate their in-office time. Across our large and growing footprint we observe occupancy rates in the range of 20-30% on average, based on region. 

The Great Resignation and Workplace Flexibility

A recent McKinsey study revealed that ⅔ of workers who changed jobs in the past two years moved on to a new industry. 

According to the study, adequacy of workplace flexibility is a top reason people stay – or leave – their current roles. Hybrid workplaces are one of the most popular ways companies can deliver greater workplace flexibility for staffers. 

More Employees Looking Forward to Going Back – Some of the Time

A recent Bloomberg piece reminds us that people’s preferences for working in-office vary significantly. An almost equal number of people want to work 100% in-office as those who would prefer 100% at home. The story underscores how organizations must consider all worker preferences to create return-to-work plans that are greeted positively. 

A Cushman and Wakefield infographic shows that 44% of workers want to go back to the office some of the time. 52% say seeing coworkers is the most important reason to go back, which corroborates other data sources that put collaboration and socialization at the top of worker desires. 

US Labor Day Was a Turning Point for Hybrid and BTO

Earlier in the summer, there was a lot of expectation that US workers would return to in-office work for at least some of their time. Labor Day is a bellwether in the US that signals the end of summer. Survey data from the business industry trade group  Partnership for New York City show that, at least in this market, the predictions were correct. 49% of NYC office workers are in-office on an average weekday, and just 16% are WFH full-time. Across the top ten US metros, the WSJ reports the figure for weekday in-office presence is 48%. Again, it’s always important to recognize that survey data usually significantly overestimate occupancy rates. 

WSJ reported that US RTO rates exceeded 50% in September, the post-Pandemic high. 

Employers Change Messaging for WHY RTO

When companies began efforts to drive workers back into office environments, many of the stated reasons were to improve workplace productivity. But that claim was disproved by a host of studies in many international markets that WFH drove a slight improvement in productivity. More recently, ResumeBuilder reported  survey data that indicate the story is shifting to a greater focus on improved collaboration and teamwork. 

Incentives Get Mixed Reviews

A thought-provoking column on Slate provides a range of verbatims on how employees feel about the perks and incentives companies are offering to lure them back to the office. 

XY Sense named CBRE Innovation of the Year

We’re delighted to share that XY Sense won the prestigious CBRE Supplier Award for Innovation of the Year. We are thrilled to have received this significant honor. 

The 2022 CBRE Innovation Challenge invited supplier partners to submit innovative ideas, new ways of working, and best-in-class client solutions that help companies create healthier workplaces for their employees and improve the workplace experience while also addressing the significant cost pressures companies now face. You can read CBRE’s press release here. 

Just Released: A Roadmap for Back to the Office

XY Sense has just released a roadmap document to help real estate and HR leaders plan and execute a more successful back-to-the-office initiative. The fast-reading document provides a multi step plan to help companies at every stage of the process, from planning to optimization. Get your free advanced copy now

We hope you found this edition of Workplace Bytes valuable. If you have a comment or want more information on our sensors and platform, get in touch

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