At OfficeRnD, we always strive to expand our knowledge, learn, and improve. As our experience shows, attending industry-leading conferences is a great way to achieve that.
And this year’s CoreNet Global Summit in Chicago was a blast in many aspects. We gained valuable insights about the future of hybrid work that we can’t wait to share with you.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
It seems that people are still more concerned about the Great Resignation than the upcoming global recession.
How could they not be?
Based on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), close to 4.2 million employees quit their jobs in August 2022. It’s natural to be more agitated about something happening right here and right now rather than speculating about the future.
Interestingly, the anticipated push to return employees to the office for more days is not expected. In fact, no one, even managers, doesn’t want to spend more than 2-3 days per week on-site, especially in NA and EMEA.
As of right now, the mass return to the office is still fiction than fact.
A key observation is that the willingness to go to the office in the USA varies largely depending on the size of the city. And as it turns out, the smaller the city, the higher the time spent in the office:
That doesn’t come as a surprise, given one apparent reason – the shorter commute in smaller cities.
It’s clear that the size of the city impacts the hybrid work policies, which brings us to the next point.
Most companies still don’t have a viable way of measuring the efficiency of their hybrid work policies.
Moreover, given the dynamicity of the workspace landscape, a definitive solution is yet to be expected. What’s most important for organizations is setting the right expectations for their employees, experimenting, learning quickly, and iterating on their existing policies.
Most companies require employees to be in the office two days per week. However, very few actually track presence.
What does that mean?
Employers are aware that enacting a strict return to the office policy might lead to decreased morale, especially among teams that used to work remotely before the pandemic.
Such a recent example is the infamous case of Elon Musk and Tesla.
Instead, companies realize that the key to hybrid work success is having a people-first approach that elegantly stimulates intentional collaboration.
The office space doesn’t just accommodate desks, chairs, and meeting rooms. It empowers collaboration and allows people to connect, create, and thrive together.
The good news is that companies are investing efforts into redesigning their physical space to boost collaboration based on interest and group size:
Remote working is good, but it comes with its disadvantages, and this is something that even hardcore remote workers admit.
The isolation, long working hours, poor home office setups, and prolonged sitting are among the reasons that cause employees to endure the commute to the office.
But the most essential motivator remains the human connection. People often visit the office for:
Many companies have begun to understand that turning spaces into places is paramount to boosting productivity and engagement.
What is space?
It’s just carpeted floor mats, wooden desks, and vinyl chairs carefully arranged between four concrete walls. It’s boring. And it’s lifeless.
A place, on the other hand, is a space with people. A space with meaning and purpose that stimulates human interaction, and creativity. It’s a place where people can gather and share an experience together.
It’s good to see that more and more companies are trying to make the office feel like home.
The RTO didn’t go as planned. It was a mess that created a glaring disconnect between employers and employees.
The traditional return to the office is doomed with a negative connotation. That’s why now it’s all about intentional workplaces rather than hybrid workplaces.
Employees feel they should come to a hybrid workplace for no reason other than “because I said so”.
Conversely, an intentional workplace:
Most companies keep much of their real estate for the time being. However, they plan to scale down when they figure out how to go hybrid.
It’s clear that right now, there are more desks than employees in the office. That’s why such a move would reduce real estate and maintenance costs.
As you can see, the future of hybrid work is dynamic.
Here are the key takeaways from CoreNet Global Summit this year:
Check out our blog for more hybrid work and future of work insights.
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