Experience per Square FootTM Instant Insights
The Impact of Office Attendance
Productivity is top-of-mind for many leaders in today’s market conditions and employee office attendance has long been considered a key factor in driving productivity. The prevailing belief is that those who consistently go to the office are going to be more productive than those who don’t.
This report reveals that “fixing” office attendance will not guarantee productivity, but there are other factors that can improve it. Focusing on these aspects of work will yield a higher ROI on productivity than a focus on office attendance.
The Impact of Mandates
About one-third (34%) of employees who cannot choose where to work come into the office 3+ days/week, compared to only 20% of those who can choose. When comparing the choice and no choice group, this 14 percentage-point difference in primarily in-office employees comes from a 5 percentage-point difference in hybrid workers and a 9 percentage-point difference in primarily remote workers.
- Limiting employees’ location flexibility and choice through mandates can increase office attendance.
- However, employees’ engagement and ability to do their best work may suffer.
- Is the short-term attendance gain driven by mandates worth the potential impact to engagement?
Choice and Flexibility Drive Experience
- Employees who have flexibility in when and where they work have significantly better employee experiences than those without choice.
- The younger the employee the larger the employee experience gap between those with location and schedule flexibility and those with no choice.
Does the Office Support its Main Purpose?
Our previous research in May indicated that the top two reasons employees go to the office are social connection and collaboration. In the June 2023 XSF Instant Insight, we compare employees’ top reasons to go to the office with how the office is currently supporting these reasons:
- Modest in-office boost for social connection. Primarily in-office employees report slightly higher social connection scores than primarily remote employees.
- Opportunity to improve in-office collaboration. Employees working primarily remotely report higher collaboration scores than in-office employees.
- Organizations can and should leverage space and policy to capitalize on face-to-face interactions to boost employee connection.
|MODEST IN-OFFICE BOOST FOR SOCIAL CONNECTION||OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE IN-OFFICE COLLABORATION|
Focus is a Key to Work-Life Balance
In the first May 2023 XSF Insight, we explore the relationship between employee work-life balance and the ability to focus while in the office.
- Employees with work-life balance are more productive and more likely to stay with their company.
- Employees who are given the space to focus and can minimize distractions in the office have better work-life balance.
- Organizations that invest in enabling focused work can improve their people's work-life balance and, ultimately, drive employee productivity and engagement
Wellbeing and Productivity
In the April 2023 XSF Instant Insight, you can explore the relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity—and the role the office can play.
- Employee wellbeing is correlated with employee productivity. Employees with high wellbeing are 3.6x more likely to say they can do their best work at their job and 3.4x more likely to say they can innovate than employees with low wellbeing.
- Employees with high wellbeing can maintain productivity regardless of whether they work remotely or from the office.
- Employees with low wellbeing may benefit in terms of their
productivity when working from the office.
Wellbeing and Productivity
In this XSF Instant Insight Supplement in April 2023, we continue to understand the relationship between wellbeing, productivity and the office across different demographic groups from April.
We analyzed the data across various demographics, and uncovered a compelling difference when it came to gender. Employees with low wellbeing who work primarily from the office report higher productivity scores than those with low wellbeing working primarily remotely. Highlighted in the April XSF Monthly Insight, this finding sparked insightful and thought-provoking discussion on social media. Based on that conversation, we expanded our research to compare the experiences reported by men and women.
Global Differences in Return-to-Office (RTO) Drivers
In the March 2023 XSF Instant Insight, you can examine the variations among RTO drivers on a worldwide level.
Preferences for office attendance frequencies differ significantly among various regions:
- Most employees in the APAC region favor spending more than three days per week working from the office.
- A little more than 40% of employees in the EMEA region opt for being present in the office for 1 to 2 days per week.
- Approximately 50% of employees in the AMERICAS region favor working remotely for three days or fewer per month.
Generational Differences in Return-To-Office (RTO) Preferences
In the February 2023 XSF Instant Insight, you can explore generational differences in hybrid work preferences and return-to-office drivers.
- Gen Z wants to be in the office more frequently than older employees.
- Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to come to the office to socialize and collaborate; and they're more likely to work remotely for the flexibility it affords.
- Older employees are more likely to come to the office to access resources and stay connected to the business. They're more likely to work remotely so they can focus.
Employees across generations come to the office for the same reasons, but the drivers are stronger for younger generations.
The attraction of the office as a place for connection may be one of the reasons Gen Z wants to be in the office more often than other groups. They like the casual environment working remotely affords, whereas they are less likely to cite focus and work-life balance as reasons for remote work. Gen X, on the other hand, is more likely to work remotely for better work-life balance and to better focus.
RTO Preferences. Industry Comparison
In the September 2022 XSF Instant Insight, you can read about the evolved purpose of the workplace: community and connection.
Employees across various sectors seek hybrid work models, with their motivations for office attendance now centered around:
- social interaction,
- and maintaining work-life equilibrium, regardless of industry.
Drivers of Wellbeing
In the June 2022 XSF Instant Insight, we analyze which aspects of an employee’s workplace experience have the greatest influence on their wellbeing.
- Employees with high levels of wellbeing are 2.5 times more likely to say they can do their best work at their job, compared to their peers with low wellbeing.
- Employee ability to feel inspired, renew, achieve work-life balance, and focus at work are top predictors of high wellbeing.
- Organizations should consider whether and how their workplace strategies support the various drivers that benefit wellbeing: renewal, inspiration, focus, and networking.
Choice Matters; and the Drivers of Return-To-Office (RTO)
In the first insight of May 2022 named Choice Matters, we elaborate on the concept that giving employees flexibility on where and when they work leads to better experience and engagement outcomes. Our XSF data show that schedule flexibility is even more critical that location flexibility for driving employee outcomes.
The second XSF Insight in May 2022, Evolving Drivers of RTO, looks at how the reasons employees want to go to the office or work remotely have shifted since the early days of the pandemic. Over time, more employees have come to view the office as a place for connection and rely less on it to access resources, likely because they have created more effective workspaces at home.