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Cushman & Wakefield Research Predicts New Normal for Workplace

Hena Park • 02/06/2020

Global Survey on Working from Home During Pandemic Reveals Work Will Likely Shift from Office-Based to Total Workplace Ecosystem, Balancing Office, Home and Other Locations

 

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) recently analyzed responses from more than 40,000 individuals globally in the largest known survey conducted on work-from-home experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing insight into how employees are coping and what the new normal will look like as offices reopen. Survey respondents represent approximately 30 companies across nearly 20 industries. 

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

“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.” 

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.

“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.

Carol Wong, Director and Head of Workplace Delivery, Asia Pacific added, “The results for Asia Pacific are similar to the rest of the world in that employees in this region are also finding themselves to be as equally or more productive when working from home. However, given the cultural diversity in Asia Pacific, it is important for organizations to take a ‘Glocal’ approach (appropriately apply global trends locally) in designing the future of their workplaces. Individual cultural nuances as well as employees’ readiness for change have to be considered in order to maintain or enhance employees’ experience and engagement levels.” 

Cushman & Wakefield has adopted a data-driven, evidenced-based approach to understanding key drivers of workplace experience through its Experience per Square Foot™ (XSF) database, a proprietary tool that tracks real estate and workplace metrics. The firm has analyzed over 2.5 million data points related to workplace experience pre-COVID-19, and an additional 1.7 million data points in the current work-from-home environment.

Richard Hwang, Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield Korea said, “The corporate culture in Korea emphasizes that employees should work in the office and therefore, it is important to create an office environment that employees want to come to, where they can strengthen bonds, innovate and learn as well as given the flexibility and authority to transform their workplace into an "inspiring destination"  

Visit The Future of Workplace to download the report.