Research conducted in collaboration with researchers from George Washington University finds consensus around hybrid work model
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK), a leading global real estate services firm, released a report examining what industry leaders expect their future workplaces to look like in a post-pandemic environment following the anticipated successful distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The new report, “Workplace Ecosystems of the Future,” developed by Cushman & Wakefield’s global research team, includes focus group and survey insights from building owners with just under US$900B in assets under management, building occupiers representing US$574B in annual revenue, and business improvement district executive directors in major U.S. markets containing over 350 million square feet of office space.
Among other findings, there is strong consensus among leaders that declines in workplace culture, innovation and creativity are inevitable when people work entirely remotely. Hybrid working, where employees spend part of the week working in the office and the other part working from home or in a third location, is expected to more than double going forward (from 22% pre-pandemic to 58% post pandemic), while exclusively remote structures will remain the exception (approximately one-in-ten both pre- and post-pandemic). The right mix will vary by organisation, department, team and individual, but it is reasonable to expect reaching an equilibrium where the average employee works remotely two days per week.
Wide disparities already exist between countries across Europe with regards to propensity to work from home and when overlaid with employees’ expectations of increased remote working in the future, as seen in Cushman & Wakefield’s Experience per Square Foot (XSF) 2020 Survey, this gives a clear picture of those that expect more. Spain leads the world in terms of employees’ expectations for increased remote working in the future at 82%, in the UK 65% of employees surveyed by Cushman & Wakefield expected increased remote working in the future.
In addition, the real estate industry is expected to become more nimble as tenants require greater flexibility in terms of space, amenities and leasing terms.
This report is the latest and third of Cushman & Wakefield’s four-part global research series exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on the future of office and the workplace, “New Perspective: From Pandemic to Performance.” Parts 2 and 3 are derived from Cushman & Wakefield’s own analysis of 5.5 million data points from workers around the globe, in affiliation with the George Washington University (GWU) School of Business Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis and Places Platform, LLC, a place-based national real estate proptech firm.
Part 2’s retrospective analysis examines how we’ve come to rely on offices and the unlikeliness of the office to disappear, particularly given the types of economies likely to reemerge in a post-pandemic world. This includes the knowledge economy, which is a result of job growth in technology, science, design and professional services, and the experience economy, which includes tourism, sporting events and other live events.
The fourth and final part of the global research series will examine external factors shaping the future of work, including technological, political change, and economic drivers.
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