People must take the lead on hybrid working to drive highest returns

A new report from workplace technology provider Eptura suggests that employee-led hybrid working models and connected technology drive the highest returns for businessesA new report from workplace technology provider Eptura suggests that employee-led hybrid working models and connected technology drive the highest returns for businesses. According to its first half 2024 Workplace Index report [registration], companies with hybrid working models in which employees can choose when to come to the office are seeing the most benefit. This is because employees who work effectively in the office can generate an average revenue increase of 3-8 percent. The study also claims that globally, employees are now spending an average of 3 days a week in the office, with the biggest increase being seen in the Asia-Pacific region. The most common days for office attendance remain Tuesday through Thursday.

The Workplace Index combines proprietary data from Eptura’s worktech platform with more than 16.3 million users with independent research across 200 senior-level professionals at organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

Key findings

Measuring ROI and articulating the value of digitally connected workplaces

  • Operational leaders project an average of 3-8 percent in expected incremental revenue from employees working effectively in the office. As they work to balance right-sizing real estate for current usage patterns while planning for future growth, companies with hybrid working models that successfully facilitate face-to-face connection are realizing the highest return on their workplace investments. Across the board, when employees are given the flexibility to lead the in-office collaboration days and policy, companies project a higher value to in-person collaboration.
  • Globally, employees are now in the office three days per week on average. APAC had the biggest increase in people coming to the office at a 52 percent increase. EMEA saw a 31 percent rise, and the Americas had a 27 percent increase in people working from the office. Legal and business services organisations lead the number of in-office days at an average of 3.28 days per week, closely followed by energy and utility organisations at 3.21 days per week, with software and technology organisations at 2.13 days per week. Tuesday through Thursday remain the most popular days for in-office attendance, as the so-called mid-week mountain trend persists across all industries.

Top areas for worktech investment

  • The top three technologies businesses plan to invest in over the next 12 months are data analytics, integrated workplace solutions, and collaboration software. Businesses are increasingly evaluating how to consolidate complex tech stacks comprised of disconnected tools and systems that prevent them from taking full advantage of their operational data. Eptura respondents across all business areas prioritized the same three capabilities for their upcoming tech investments, indicating significant opportunity to realize efficiency by procuring connected systems that meet the needs of multiple teams.

Organisations continue to struggle to progress toward workplace digital transformation, unifying data, and achieving business objectives

  • The top two barriers to meeting sustainability goals are 1) economic climate and 2) the cost of relevant technology. Buildings have a significant environmental impact, accounting for 39 percent of global carbon emissions, but many organisations struggle with the perceived cost of sustainability programs and technologies. By focusing efforts on centralizing data on built environment performance and usage, companies can identify and prioritize opportunities to increase energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • The biggest obstacles to optimizing physical asset operations are siloed functions and incomplete data, per survey respondents. Real-time visibility into asset health and performance through integrated platforms can help operations managers implement structured preventive maintenance plans to increase asset uptime and avoid higher costs and emissions. Eptura’s data also demonstrates that reactive work orders take roughly double the time to complete versus preventive activities, indicating an opportunity for organisations to reduce labour hours by scheduling more planned maintenance.

“Global leaders recognize the significant value that connected workplaces bring to their operations, impacting employee experiences, building management, and asset handling,” said Brandon Holden, CEO of Eptura. “These elements cannot be effectively managed in isolation, prompting businesses to adopt integrated platforms for a comprehensive view of their data. With workplace attendance stabilizing, our focus is now on enhancing operational efficiencies, optimizing processes, and improving the overall workplace environment for employees.”

Image: BW