”By May 2022, “the proportion of workers hybrid working has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24%.” However, “the percentage working exclusively from home has fallen from 22% to 14% in the same period.”
More recently an AWA survey, of approx. 250,000 employees from 220 offices in 33 countries, conducted between September and November 2022, found, people are only going into the office for 29% of their work time. Over 50% of employees are adopting “hybrid work practices”, with just over a quarter working two or three days in the office.
While the latter is a global study, we do need to remember that at least in the UK, this is against a backdrop of rail strikes on one hand and increased energy prices and inflation on the other, both of which influence behaviour. What is true for me having “been out and about” much more is the trains are back to standing room only for most of my journeys.
What is also true is the expectation of those people while in the office has also changed, be it cleaning, air quality, or health and safety. Much of my time when out is providing high-level training and briefings for senior managers on the latter and many of my colleagues are satisfying an ever-increasing demand for independent, accredited, and reliable data on building environmental performance (be it water, occupancy comfort, and/or air quality).
The links to satisfaction and productivity in a well-managed, well-maintained work environment are well-established. Achieving them is only part of the answer, keeping them there is the key. So, whether the much talked about downturn sees presenteeism become a further factor for occupancy rates is yet to be seen, as is what happens in more ‘settled’ times. The expectation of the work environment will endure though I believe. What do you have to show to your employees, if and when they ask the question about the ‘health’ and ‘safety’ of their work environment?