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Office work

Employees now spend an average of 2 days in office

Global Trends in Hybrid Work and the Shifting Dynamics of Office Attendance

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A year ago 39% of employees worked remotely
Only 22% prefer a full-time in-office schedule
Stay interviews” are recommended to understand employee desires

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Hybrid work arrangements are gaining momentum globally, with U.S. employees now spending an average of 2 days per week in the office. According to a report released on November 14 by JLL, a global commercial real estate and investment management company, the global average stands at 3.1 days in the office, with peak attendance observed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Encouragingly, a substantial number of international organizations (87%) are promoting on-site work to some extent. This marks a significant shift from a year ago when 39% of employees worked remotely or spent up to two days in the office; the current figure has dropped to 20%.

Neil Murray, CEO of Work Dynamics for JLL, highlighted the evolving preferences in work arrangements as more employees return to the office multiple days a week. He emphasized the need to adapt technology and flexible arrangements to align with these changing expectations.

A survey of over 20,000 office workers revealed varying in-person attendance across regions, ranging from two days in the U.S. and U.K. to over four days in China, India, and South Korea. The report attributes these differences to cultural nuances, living arrangements, and other structural factors.

Employers underscore the importance of in-person work for enhancing employee productivity

Employers underscore the importance of in-person work for enhancing employee productivity, ranking it among the top three reasons to encourage employees back to the office. They also recognize the role of advanced office technology and improved amenities in attracting workers to physical workplaces.

Conversely, workers value the physical office as a hub for socialization, innovation, and professional growth. However, challenges such as commuting, noise, and a lack of privacy emerge as top barriers to working from the office. Creating spaces that cater to a mix of collaborative and focused work is deemed crucial by Neil Murray.

While two-thirds of employees now work in the office full time, according to a recent Owl Labs report, only 22% prefer a full-time in-office schedule. A significant portion (58%) engages in “coffee badging,” attending the office for a few hours to make a brief appearance.

Despite the growing importance of workplace flexibility, many employees feel excluded from discussions regarding hybrid work and return-to-office mandates, as revealed by an Eagle Hill survey. Nearly half of respondents expressed a willingness to consider leaving their jobs if their flexibility was reduced.

Effective return-to-office policies, as suggested by HR experts, include engagement strategies. “Stay interviews” are recommended to understand employee desires, encompassing factors like schedule flexibility, employee resource groups, comfortable and collaborative spaces, and even design aesthetics such as lighting, instead of traditional exit interviews.

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