People don’t want to be in an office every day, but they want access to just one
The American worker has undergone quite a change in recent generations. We have gone from a country founded with a majority of blue-collar jobs to ever-expanding cities occupied by “knowledge” white-collar workers. White collar jobs have become the goal of many young Americans with the promise of an easier lifestyle and higher pay, so much so that blue collar jobs are experiencing a labor shortage. artwork. However, burnout in the office and concerns about mental health are pushing younger generations to re-evaluate what they expect from their jobs. Companies are looking for the right balance between being in the office and working remotely for their employees, present and future. Is it hybrid? Is it remote? Does anyone really know?
Some workers have gone completely to one end of the spectrum and many call themselves digital nomads. According to Emergent Research and MBO Partners, there was a 49% increase in Americans who described themselves as digital nomads from 2019 to 2020. More importantly, nomads with traditional jobs fell from 3.2 million to 6 million. ,3 million. Unable to go to the office, the nomadic digital lifestyle was undesirable for many until they tried it. Today, the workforce is more distributed than ever. Toes have been dipped into what work might be like, and not everyone wants to go back to traditional office life.
There is a constant fear for many managers: will people want to come back? With months of predictions and hopes, Eden Workplace and Wakefield Research have teamed up to make the first poll employees already back in the office. The results of the 1,000 nationally representative employees surveyed in July 2021 are rather favorable to offices. In fact, 70 percent of respondents are happy to be back and the overwhelming majority (85 percent) would like to have access to an office. While the nomadic and remote lifestyle may be appealing to some, only 15% wanted a full-time remote schedule.
To optimize the office environment and hybrid schedule, managers need to understand why people want to access the office. Now that many have returned to some degree, managers can make future decisions based on data rather than assumptions. The survey found that 51% of people failed to have a proper office setup, a number that rose from 44% in February. Other reasons to enjoy being back in the office included having access to office equipment like gyms and snacks and avoiding distractions at home while striving for a work-life balance. The survey also analyzed the variation between men’s and women’s feelings about returning to the office and employer-mandated vaccines.
The most popular reason for returning, according to 62 percent of those polled in the Eden Workplace report, was people. “If someone says they have a long-distance relationship with their romantic partner, others will say“ it’s difficult. ”When you say it’s a long-distance relationship with your coworkers, people say “it looks really flexible and nice,” said Joe Du Bey, CEO and co-founder of Eden Workplace, which makes software for hybrid businesses. “But the reality is that there are challenges with working remotely, just like in other types of relationships. It is difficult to form relationships or stay close. Building relationships with co-workers is something that gives meaning to work.
If someone says they have a long-distance relationship with their romantic partner, others will say “it’s difficult”. When you say it’s a long-distance relationship with your coworkers, people say “it sounds really flexible and nice”. But the reality is that there are challenges with working remotely, just like with other types of relationships.
Joe Du Bey, CEO, Eden workplace
These relationships are also important for a company’s productivity and culture. A report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine contributed to the growing evidence that a healthy workforce offers a competitive advantage. And, companies that have a great culture have higher employee retention. In today’s competitive job landscape, retention is invaluable. “The world is entering a bigger talent migration than anything we’ve seen before. We call it the #GreatReshuffle, an unprecedented moment in the history of work where we are all rethinking not only how we work, but why we work, ”said Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, in an article.
Understanding where people want to work is also essential for successful future hires. Knowing that the majority of people want to access an office, companies need to think more critically about their hiring practices. For example, companies may want to offer positions in cities where they will have offices even if they currently do not have space there. If companies want to attract 85% of the workforce, they need to provide them with a place to work.
One of the arguments for a remote-first company culture is that companies are no longer limited by geography and can hire the best people for the job. “If you’re a global business, hiring the best people and hiring the best people near you could be the same thing. You could attract 100% of the workforce if you offer remote and office experiences, ”said Du Bey. Diving into math, he explained that totally remote businesses have access to 15 percent of the population; “You have to go for the best talent of those 15%. Where is the best talent? In the 15 or the 85? Maybe both, but there are more people in the 85 percent. Companies with a hybrid strategy can catch in both basins and I prefer to fish from 100 percent of the workforce.
Companies that provide options for their employees are supporting the flexible lifestyle that the majority of today wants. Recognizing that one size does not fit all is not a painless process and that there will be challenges to overcome; after all, less than 8% of the nearly 90 million meeting rooms worldwide are compatible with video according to Frost and Sullivan’s “State of the Global Video Conferencing Device Market”. However, companies that take the initiative to do what their employees want will reap the rewards. We have learned so much over the past two years, and the distance can make the heart more loving, but there is no substitute for working in person.