Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:02:03 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://workplaceinsight.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-Insight_logo_only-3-144x144.jpg Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net 32 32 Wrong approach to leadership makes a fifth of CEOs a bad fit for their firm https://workplaceinsight.net/wrong-leadership-makes-a-fifth-of-ceos-a-bad-fit-for-their-firm/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wrong-leadership-makes-a-fifth-of-ceos-a-bad-fit-for-their-firm Fri, 07 Aug 2020 05:45:23 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53966 Nearly a fifth (17 percent) of CEOs are largely unsuited to the companies they lead, according to new research from academics at Imperial College Business School, Harvard Business School, Columbia University and the London School of Economics. The paper, CEO Behavior and Firm Performance, is based on an analysis of the leadership behaviour of 1,100 […]

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leadershipNearly a fifth (17 percent) of CEOs are largely unsuited to the companies they lead, according to new research from academics at Imperial College Business School, Harvard Business School, Columbia University and the London School of Economics. The paper, CEO Behavior and Firm Performance, is based on an analysis of the leadership behaviour of 1,100 CEOs based on their daily schedules.

It found that the behaviour of CEOs can be broken down into two categories: Leadership and Management. While managers focus on undertaking tasks and take a hands-on approach to their job, leaders prioritise high-level functions within an organisation.

The research suggests that CEOs whose behaviour constitutes that of a leader generally run companies that are more productive and profitable. The researchers found this to be the case by comparing the performance of firms before and after appointing a CEO whose leadership style was closely aligned to the organisation’s mission and values and discovered that appointing such a leader resulted in an increase in sales after hiring.

The study claims that around 17 percent of CEOs are ultimately not ideally suited to their firm, largely thanks to the shortage of leader-type CEOs in the market. The researchers claim that the greatest difference in the supply and demand of this type of CEO in low- and middle- income countries. According to the researchers, this poor distribution could account for up to 13 percent of cross-country differences in labour productivity.

Stephen Hansen, Associate Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School and lead researcher for the study, says: “The most important message is that there is no one-size-fits-all CEO. Modern machine learning methods applied to data on leadership can help identify CEO styles and how they match firm needs.”

Main image: From The Charge of the Light Brigade by Caton Woodville, Public Domain

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People work longer (and different) hours under lockdown https://workplaceinsight.net/people-work-longer-and-different-hours-under-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-work-longer-and-different-hours-under-lockdown Fri, 07 Aug 2020 05:30:19 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53962 A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research claims that the average lockdown working day worldwide is now around 48 minutes longer than before the pandemic. In addition, the number of meetings also increased by 13 percent and people send an average of 1.4 emails more per day. In addition, people were working […]

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A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research claims that the average lockdown working day worldwide is now around 48 minutes longer than before the pandemic. In addition, the number of meetings also increased by 13 percent and people send an average of 1.4 emails more per day. In addition, people were working at different times of day to free up time for other activities and responsibilities.

The study, Collaborating During Coronavirus: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nature of Work, was led by researchers fromHarvard Business School and New York University who collated data from over 3.1 million people working for more than 21,000 companies across 16 cities in the Middle East, Europe and North America. It looked at data from 8 week periods before and after lockdown.

The researchers compared employee behaviour over two 8 week periods before and after the coronavirus lockdown. It analysed email and meeting-meta data. This revealed that the pandemic workday lasted on average 48.5 minutes longer than before lockdown. However the data also suggested that while the number of meetings had increased, their duration was down.

Image: Herman Miller/Wellworking

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A dog`s life in the future of work https://workplaceinsight.net/a-dogs-life-in-the-future-of-work/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-dogs-life-in-the-future-of-work Thu, 06 Aug 2020 23:05:43 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53932 Once upon a time. Not so long ago. We used to get ideas for stories on lots of different topics. These included those I often dismissed at the time as quaint, such as somebody’s thoughts on why you should bring your dog to work. Now I often hanker for such whimsy, faced with day 127 […]

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Once upon a time. Not so long ago. We used to get ideas for stories on lots of different topics. These included those I often dismissed at the time as quaint, such as somebody’s thoughts on why you should bring your dog to work. Now I often hanker for such whimsy, faced with day 127 of an inbox stuffed with nothing much more than ‘how to return to the office after lockdown’.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand why firms need to hold these conversations. They’re very important for the organisations involved and the people who work with them. I just don’t need to publish umpteen different daily iterations of it for six months. Other media outlets obviously might see these things differently.

So it’s now a relief whenever dogs get a look in, as they do in this piece by Arianne Cohen about what we’ll tell the mutts when we start going back to the office regularly. As she says, “dogs are becoming “overly bonded,” which means they’re intensely reliant on our presence to stay calm. Dogs signal this when they can no longer self-soothe and panic after an owner leaves a room or, God forbid, the house”. Or you could just look at their little faces.

 

It’s now become a cliché to suggest that we are in the midst of some great experiment, even though some people like to think we’re already at the end of it. But there have been signs over the last few weeks that we are synthesising something meaningful from the competing nonsense of the death of the office (and city) at one extreme and a mutant version of what once existed at the other.

Talking of which, a London property company is reported to be introducing 2,000 ‘cube offices’ at its development in Albert Dock. It’s been pointed out before that this kind of thinking is a misguided and desperate attempt to cling on to what once was.

Even WeWork, the pioneer of the phenomenon that for a time was the only thing giving an imitation of life to an already moribund commercial property sector, has moved on. It has introduced an on demand service and is openly targeting corporations looking for something a bit more 21st Century.

We’ve been highlighting for some time that the office based on footprint was giving way to one based on footfall, so it’s interesting to see how parts of the property sector are hanging on to the old thinking by sticking people in boxes. Sounds hellish. Together but alone.

The idea of packing people away from each other in a building is one that is picked apart by the always wonderful Kerstin Sailer in this piece in The Guardian.

“e should not give up on the idea of a shared workspace for everyone in the future. Not only is it impractical to suggest working from home as a standard response during a housing crisis, where many may lack the opportunity to set up a permanent and adequately equipped workstation. Being together and sharing experiences is fundamental for both individual and organisational health and wellbeing. In the long term, getting rid of the office completely may even harm an organisation’s bottom line, as good ideas dry up, onboarding of new staff becomes tricky and teams begin disintegrating. We can surely make it through more months or years until we have a Covid vaccine, but we should not sacrifice the idea that we will all meet again regularly in a space, a space that provides the best design possible for people to share a sense of togetherness and purpose.”

The benefits of working solely from home are based on a number of suppositions that do not apply to everybody

Neil Usher makes a similar appeal for something better to emerge from all of this in this short podcast. As does Christopher Mims in this piece in the Wall Street Journal, summarised on his Twitter feed for those without a subscription.

These nuanced and informed takes on what we should hope for in the future of work are a welcome shift away from the binaries that dominated the conversations in the early weeks of lockdown. There were moderate voices making better arguments, but they were inaudible in the din.

The underlying catalysts for this synthesis are a combined awareness of a number of underlying and longstanding issues in the case of experts like Kerstin and Neil, and also the more recent experiences people and business have had of working under lockdown for the first time.

As Kerstin points out in her piece, the benefits of working from home are based on a number of suppositions that do not apply to everybody, a point elaborated on by Sean Blanda here. And, as Stephen Bush highlights, this isn’t just about working from a bedroom or kitchen with inadequate equipment. We are still not prepared for the effects of the tech such as algorithmic line management and may never be.

Firms too are adopting a balanced perspective. Microsoft has discovered that digital first working has a significant impact on the hours people work and their ability to cope. Facebook has just taken out a major new lease in New York.

Neither of these two stories suggest that we should go back to the way things were. There were major issues with both working lives and the function of corporate real estate that we should take the chance to discard permanently. But there are also signs that we are more aware of the importance of place, structure and togetherness than we were when we could take them for granted. It’s not just dogs who need to be around their fellow creatures.

Image by steiningeraurora123 

 

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Cycling might be about to change our lives and offices permanently https://workplaceinsight.net/cycling-might-be-about-to-change-our-lives-and-offices-permanently/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cycling-might-be-about-to-change-our-lives-and-offices-permanently Thu, 06 Aug 2020 05:51:02 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53950 According to the latest data from the Cycle to Work Alliance, June 2020 saw a 120 per cent increase in the number of people joining the government Cycle to Work scheme. Introduced in 1999 as part of a series of measures under the government’s Green Transport Plan, it is now undergoing a revival as thousands […]

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According to the latest data from the Cycle to Work Alliance, June 2020 saw a 120 per cent increase in the number of people joining the government Cycle to Work scheme. Introduced in 1999 as part of a series of measures under the government’s Green Transport Plan, it is now undergoing a revival as thousands of people remain reluctant to use public transport fearing exposure to COVID-19.

At the end of July, Boris Johnson revealed an ambitious plan to boost walking and cycling in the UK. The specially designated £2bn fund would pay for thousands of miles of protected bike lanes, as well as cycle training for both children and adults, showing the government’s clear commitment to establishing cycling as our preferred mode of transport.

COVID-19 has forced companies across the country to reconsider many things, among which technology, wellbeing and space. This renewed focus on cycling is set to have important implications for offices, their location and facilities, offering employers a great opportunity to re-engage staff and show they really care.

 

Lessons from lockdown

Back in March, when the government lockdown was introduced in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19, thousands of people were told to work from home, which led to a painful transition for some. Employees faced a whole array of challenges: some were forced to home school children in addition to full-time work, while others were stuck indoors working alongside several housemates.

On the positive side, this challenging period has resulted in an important revelation: lengthy train journeys do not need to be an essential part of work life. Now that offices are starting to reopen, many people are unwilling to jump back on the train for a 50-minute commute, so there is a clear need for a solution that would help employees save time, stay safe and be able to work in a social environment again.

As companies are trying to figure out how to best reconfigure their office spaces, many have started exploring the option of setting up regional hubs to spread the workforce. Setting up local hubs means that many more employees will be able to cycle or even walk to work while retaining the benefits of working in a social environment and having a clear separation between office and home.We’re going to see even more office spaces in residential areas.

 

Accommodating cyclists

Another reason why cycling is experiencing a renaissance is because it allows people to maintain physical activity without committing to a gym membership. Furthermore, daily cycling to work allows people to save money that would otherwise be spent on a travel card.

Given that the number of cyclists is on the rise, what tenants want from office spaces is set to change, too. Previously, cycle stores and showers were a nice add-on, however now it will become a necessity. Pre-COVID, some offices were offering gym facilities or even group exercise classes, whereas now, with the need to maintain social distancing, access to such facilities has either been reduced or put on hold. What this means is that the role of cycling has changed – from a mere form of transport it is now vital to many people’s daily wellbeing, so enabling that through the provision of facilities should be a top priority for considerate employers.

COVID-19 has brought a paradigm shift, with many people reassessing how they want to live their lives, and wellbeing has come to the forefront. With that in mind, those who want to retain staff and encourage people to go back to the office will need to be able to offer the right conditions to ensure employee wellbeing – both physical and mental. From providing offices spaces outside of central London, to equipping them with cycle-friendly facilities – all of these things will ultimately result in tangible benefits for companies, including reduced absenteeism due to improved health and substantial rental savings, making it easier for everyone to adjust to normal life post-pandemic.

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Managing occupancy will be essential in the new era of work https://workplaceinsight.net/managing-occupancy-will-be-essential-in-the-new-era-of-work/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=managing-occupancy-will-be-essential-in-the-new-era-of-work Wed, 05 Aug 2020 23:02:32 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53956 As COVID-19 infection rates reach lower levels and businesses open their doors once more, HR and facilities teams across many industries and sectors are preparing for a physical return to the workplace. With a duty to ensure the health, safety and general wellbeing of staff and visitors, there are many factors to consider, such as […]

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As COVID-19 infection rates reach lower levels and businesses open their doors once more, HR and facilities teams across many industries and sectors are preparing for a physical return to the workplace. With a duty to ensure the health, safety and general wellbeing of staff and visitors, there are many factors to consider, such as how to promote safe social distancing and increased cleaning regimes, while still focussing on business productivity. The roles of HR and FM will be critical in setting safe protocols if further self-isolation and lockdown measures are to be avoided.

This is where cloud technology – so relied upon during the pandemic for video conferencing and connecting people – can offer a solution. Cloud based access control systems for managing entrance and exit points, and network surveillance cameras for protecting premises, are a far cry from the dated standalone equivalents of the past such as CCTV. Historically the preserve of security or operations teams, today’s modern systems are capable of producing powerful insights and offer many benefits beyond security. The advantages of such systems described below will prove invaluable for those professionals working to help create safer working environments and promote confidence among personnel.

Managing the return to work

Considerations about managing a return to work start at the front entrance

Considerations about managing a return to work start at the front entrance. Frictionless access control negates the need for physical contact, enabling a totally hands-free experience which also removes the cross contamination risks associated with touching shared surfaces. With surveillance cameras providing a second factor of authentication, swift and accurate identification of staff allows free movement to and from premises. Additionally, surveillance cameras can count people as they enter a premises or site, providing an accurate account of attendance numbers and enabling safe occupancy thresholds to be set and controlled as required.

The possibilities for such use span many industries. In the healthcare industry currently, there are positive applications to ensure health, safety and security. Within hospital environments, door control systems, installed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, are being used for their intercom capabilities, enabling clinicians and patients to communicate safely via video at entry / exit points to wards, limiting the need to enter and reducing viral spread.

In an office environment, keeping a record of the number of staff at the workplace enables predictions to be made around how many people are likely to use the building on a regular basis, compared with time spent working from home. As well as providing HR and facilities teams with full visibility of staff movements, the technology also enables staff to plan their own time, perhaps making decisions about homeworking on days that they can identify in real time as particularly busy, and when there is no requirement to physically be on site in person. The ability to schedule hot desking online could enable staff to effectively book themselves in or out of the office as space and work requirements dictate.

 

Ensuring health and safety compliance

As a single report of a case of COVID-19 is enough to result in workplace closure at organisations which do not follow the correct health and safety protocols, it’s vital that staff and visitor compliance can be guaranteed. Surveillance technologies can be used to monitor key areas of the building to check that staff are moving around in a safe manner and behaving in such a way that does not present a risk to themselves or to others. The ability to position sensors top-down enables an overview of staff movement to be gained without necessarily identifying individual staff members, meaning that such technology does not contravene the GDPR.

Taking this a step further, the addition of network audio systems (digital speakers) enables pre-recorded audio to be set in areas where staff gather to remind them of social distancing requirements, or to broadcast automated reminders for hand washing in shared spaces such as kitchens, or near vending machines. These audio prompts reinforce an important message about the measures that must be adhered to if the return to work is going to be viable while keeping infection risks minimised. With a strong emphasis on the need to increase hygiene and promote effective social distancing measures, a combination of surveillance cameras and network audio systems can help to educate and inform the workforce, encouraging appropriate behaviours.

 

HR records and increased security

While endeavouring to keep tight control of conditions within the building, there will inevitably be scenarios which present challenges for both facilities and HR managers and teams. Invited guests such as job interviewees and delivery drivers must be escorted on site in a manner that complies with necessary regulations. For staff on the company’s payroll it’s possible to add an extra layer of security that utilises HR records to influence admittance to the site; vital for protection in both the current climate and in the long term. Through linking access control and HR systems, attempts at access by staff who have left the business, or are recorded as being on annual leave, can be flagged as suspicious, and security personnel automatically informed.

With many applications from both a security and business perspective, a cloud-enabled security system offers a fully customisable, fully scalable solution, providing advanced levels of protection while influencing decision making and improving health and safety. Responsible companies are those that will be able to demonstrate appropriate measures for creating a safe and secure environment. In the longer term this may even be regarded as a key factor in attracting and retaining staff alongside other company benefits, as such considerations become commonplace in a more hygiene conscious and cautious post-pandemic world.

Find out more information about managing occupancy here. 

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Creating great cultures will be one of the main drivers for firms https://workplaceinsight.net/creating-great-cultures-will-be-one-of-the-main-drivers-in-the-new-era-for-work/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creating-great-cultures-will-be-one-of-the-main-drivers-in-the-new-era-for-work Wed, 05 Aug 2020 05:16:44 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53412 Workplace design is – or should be – inextricably linked to both an organisation’s identity and its culture. The issue of workplace culture, and why it might succeed or fail, has become a matter of a great deal of study as the basis for work has moved on from the scientific management theories of the early to mid-20th […]

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Workplace design is – or should be – inextricably linked to both an organisation’s identity and its culture. The issue of workplace culture, and why it might succeed or fail, has become a matter of a great deal of study as the basis for work has moved on from the scientific management theories of the early to mid-20th Century. This aped the hierarchies, structures and forms of factories. It once prevailed but even now its vestiges remain, often in spite of the decades of research and a changing world of work that show us better ways of getting things done.  

Often these are rooted in an organisation’s culture. As Peter Drucker famously said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. By which he didn’t mean to suggest that strategy was unimportant rather that it had to go hand in hand and occasionally take a back seat to the creation of a well-defined, well managed, powerful and empowering culture. 

Researchers have set out ways of defining cultures, often by plotting its key characteristics along axes and creating matrices that can help organisations plot their own culture and map out where they’d like to be and what effect this could have on the organisation.   

Often these have a direct correlation with the workplace. For example, in their seminal, groundbreaking research looking at the competing dimensions of corporate effectiveness, the researchers Robert Quinn and John Rohrbaugh presented the idea that organisational culture and effectiveness are defined by two primary dimensions that are closely aligned with work processes and space: the degree of structure and place of focus.   

Structure works along a continuum from centralised control, order, hierarchy and predictability at one end to more organic processes, flexibility and volatility at the other. While focus defines the attitude of the organisation to its internal processes against its outward looking focus on the market and its place in the world. 

If these two cultural dimensions are arranged in a matrix, this yields four main categories of culture: Creative, Controlled, Competitive, and Collaborative that align with some useful definitions of office design which will be explored later. Crucially, these are not definitive ways of categorising a particular organisation, but instead offer a continuum across several dimensions in the same way that offices should never be defined in limited forms.  

In our latest white paper Culture and Truth, we explore the much-discussed subject of workplace culture. We investigate the many facets and challenges of the workplace culture concept and what businesses can do to implement it effectively.

Within the white paper, you will learn about the different kinds of working cultures that exist within organisations, the challenges companies face in successfully implementing a workplace culture, the variables linking design to productivity, and how to make workplace culture happen. We also supplement the observations with usable diagrams and examine fascinating earlier studies and theories on the work environment.

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Boardroom heroes needed to transform working cultures https://workplaceinsight.net/boardroom-heroes-needed-to-transform-working-cultures/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boardroom-heroes-needed-to-transform-working-cultures Tue, 04 Aug 2020 05:24:58 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53926 Even as the UK starts to open back up following the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, there are still many unanswered questions about how almost every aspect of our lives will be impacted. What is certain though, is that we will continue to see a paradigm shift take place across all areas of the workplace. Employers must […]

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Even as the UK starts to open back up following the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, there are still many unanswered questions about how almost every aspect of our lives will be impacted. What is certain though, is that we will continue to see a paradigm shift take place across all areas of the workplace. Employers must ensure they have the right measures and policies in place to deal with the transformations that have taken place across the UK’s labour market throughout the lockdown period. This is crucial, as only those who have a strong workplace culture will succeed in the post-pandemic world.

Pre-pandemic, tough competition between companies was business as usual. However, as seen with easyJet advising their furloughed CPR-trained workers to volunteer at the NHS Nightingale hospitals, post-COVID-19 we will see a new type of business continuity – one of greater collaboration.

Businesses across all industries are collaborating more closely with clients and suppliers than ever before. In our case, we have seen an increase in the need to support broader discussions on talent strategy in areas such as Statement of Work, where challenges have arisen around how to communicate with all workers at the same time, remain visible and keep costs down. In these cases, greater collaboration has accelerated partnership opportunities. While the level of data and insight currently being shared will likely return to pre-pandemic levels when the virus is contained, collaboration is here to stay.

 

The rise of boardroom heroes

In the post-COVID era of work, we will see many boardroom heroes arise

Decisions are being made in boardrooms today that will impact the survival of businesses across all industries, worldwide. The people at the centre of these critical decisions are the HRO and CFO. With the company’s latest financial figures at their fingertips, CFOs are working more closely than ever before with their HROs to navigate and make difficult decisions around furloughing employees, cutting daily business expenses and making predictions on the overall health of the company. In the post-COVID era of work, we will see many boardroom heroes arise.

The C-suite, finding themselves in a trying and unprecedented time, will need to harness a new toolkit to succeed. Data-driven insight will be essential to make the best decisions, quickly. This means they need to rely on the teams around them as well as technology to closely track performance and report on capabilities and processes. While we have known for some time that an evolution in leadership was underway, post-pandemic, the CFO and HRO will be in the spotlight like never before.

While many lockdown measures have been eased, new work environments are now the norm for many people, whether that’s working from home or social distancing for essential work. While many had previously resisted flexible working on the grounds of productivity, research has shown that working virtually can drive productivity improvements by up to 43%, when done effectively, but it must be executed in the right way.

 

A new culture

Corporate culture will have to evolve to support this practice. In fact, the move to greater flexible working for non-critical businesses during the lockdown period has enabled many leaders to iron out any issues – such as technology and management style – and, importantly, shown that it does work. Modelled and reinforced from the top down, flexible working practices will bring myriad benefits from increased productivity to healthier and more motivated employees.

Added to this, workers now experiencing the benefits that working from home can bring will unlikely want to go back to five days a week full-time in the office once the pandemic is over. Indeed, in a recent study we conducted, almost 80% of workers thought it important that their company implements more flexibility in how and where staff can work.

Interestingly, this was echoed by C-level and executive managers – just over three quarters (77%) believe business will generally benefit from allowing increased flexibility around office and remote working. As such, leadership teams now need to work with employees to best implement this hybrid-working model.

Additionally, virtual hiring and remote onboarding will require a completely different approach in order to culturally induct new starters effectively. A blend of onsite and offsite learning will inevitably be the best way to drive high levels of engagement and trust. This is something that is so critical to creating and maintaining a high performing culture.

The pandemic has accelerated the business changes many companies believed they had two to three years to complete. Accompanied by the fact the labour market is transforming rapidly, the businesses that will thrive in the future will be the ones that engage and communicate with their workforce in a transparent and authentic way. With the need for digital and technical skills only growing, employers should be encouraging their workforce to upskill themselves and take advantage of the move towards a more digital working environment.

Image by Andrew Martin 

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People struggle with home working environments and solitude https://workplaceinsight.net/people-struggle-with-home-working-environments-and-solitude/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-struggle-with-home-working-environments-and-solitude Tue, 04 Aug 2020 05:04:41 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=53922 People are productive at home and want to retain flexible working after lockdown, but struggle with sub-optimal working environments and a lack of interaction with colleagues. That is the main finding from a survey by property technology company, Equiem. The firm has published the results of its most comprehensive global office occupier survey to date, providing landlords […]

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People are productive at home and want to retain flexible working after lockdown, but struggle with sub-optimal working environments and a lack of interaction with colleagues. That is the main finding from a survey by property technology company, Equiem. The firm has published the results of its most comprehensive global office occupier survey to date, providing landlords and tenants alike with valuable insights into occupier sentiment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Global Office Tenant Report (registration) also suggests that people are in no rush to return to the office, but would prefer to wait until they are convinced it is safe.

The study is based on responses from around 4,500 of the firm’s existing customers in the UK, US and Australia as well as interviews with representatives of over twenty landlords.

Key findings of the study include:

  • 82 percent of occupiers reported to be as or more productive at home, however 45 percent missed conversations with colleagues. In addition, 56 percent desired better work setups, 25 percent wished for better access to home health and wellness options and 18 percent needed better access to work-from-home resources.
  • 60 percent of occupiers won’t return to office until ‘it feels safe.” Critical factors for them to return are information and communication. Upon returning, over 80 percent of occupiers expect up-to-date information on active in-building COVID cases, new safety procedures (including use of facilities), and cleaning procedures from their landlords or company. Over 60 percent also expect current office density information to be available.
  • Occupiers who worked in-office during lockdown anticipate a greater risk of infection once everyone returns. 45 percent believe the office presents a low to very low risk of infection during lockdown, with this number dropping to 22 percent when lockdown ends.
  • Flexible work is here to stay. 65 percent of occupiers expect to work from home once a week or more once restrictions are lifted, compared to the 28 percent who were doing so before. Landlords similarly agree that there will likely be an increase in remote working post-lockdown.
  • Australian occupiers believe they are more productive than before the lockdown, while US and UK occupiers believe they are as productive as before.
  • Effective density management is key for both occupiers and landlords. 48 percent of occupiers believe changes are required to reduce likelihood of incidental contact, while 58 percent of landlords are concerned about controlling and monitoring social distancing, particularly in lifts and reception areas.
  • Building occupancy remains extremely low.  72 percent of office buildings had less than 10 percent occupancy, while 17 percent reported occupancy between 10 percent to 20 percent
  • Landlord’s and property manager’s biggest concerns include adhering to social distancing measures, managing lift/elevator access, increased cleaning and maintaining air quality in the building
  • Changes planned to accommodate tenants returning to work include installing cardless entry, new/improved air filtration systems, changes to communal spaces and frequent cleaning of elevators and amenity spaces.
  • Landlords have varied predictions about the future: 75 percent of landlords envision a medium transition with business as usual by the end of the year, whereas 17 percent of landlords see a short transition (BAU by July/Aug), and 8 percent see a long and slow transition – 12 months or more– ramping up to a new standard of security and cleaning requirements.

Image by Tarun Shihora 

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