The new era of work will embrace an ecosystem of spaces

The results of a new survey on people’s experience of working from home during lockdown will accelerate the  shift from primarily office-based work to a “total workplace ecosystem”, based on offices, homes and other locations including digital space. That is the conclusion of a new report from  Cushman & Wakefield which analysed responses from more than 40,000 individuals from around thirty companies across nearly twenty sectors.

The survey suggests that, during the pandemic, productivity generally remains strong and team collaboration has improved through better application of remote technology. Three quarters of respondents agree or strongly agree that they are collaborating effectively with colleagues in the current environment – up 10 percent from data gathered during the pre-COVID-19 period – and 73 percent of respondents would like their companies to embrace long-term or permanent flexible working policies.

Remote working may be here to stay, but survey results also show human connection and social bonding are suffering, thus negatively impacting corporate culture and learning. Slightly more than half of respondents feel personally connected to their colleagues in the work-from-home environment.

“It’s imperative to recognize that the workplace will no longer be a single location, but an ecosystem of a variety of locations and experiences to support flexibility, functionality and employee wellbeing,” said Brett White, Executive Chairman & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield. “That said, we expect current real estate footprint sizes to remain steady. Flexible working practices may result in fewer people in the office at any one time, but that space-saving is offset by the need to accommodate social distancing in the office.”

“As we look to the future, the office will have a new purpose: to provide inspiring destinations that strengthen cultural connection, enhance learning, encourage bonding among colleagues and customers, and foster creativity and innovation,” said Despina Katsikakis, Head of Workplace Business Performance at Cushman & Wakefield.

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