November 2022: Are Office Levels Going Up with Hybrid?

This month's newsletter will include new data on hybrid work levels, inviting employees back to the office, Proptech's future, the death of Office Fridays and Future-Proofing CRE.

We hope this content is helpful as you navigate your return to the office plans and flexible work.

Q3 Hybrid Workplace Report: Hybrid Work Levels Up by Eric Lani (Robin)

Tracking office usage has been a top priority for most organizations and this is a great overview of Robin's latest data on office usage trends. They've been tracking this data since last year and have some interesting takeaways.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Of the companies that reduced office space, the most significant change came from companies with 50-499 employees, dropping a whopping 27% of their office footprint  over the quarter.

  • September marked a bump for workers back in the office. Global office utilization peaked in mid-September at 29.6%. That compares to 24% over the summer.

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Proptech in 2023: Top Principals and Investors Sound Off by Philip Russo (Commercial Observer)

As we face uncertainty in both commercial and residential real estate, technology has been an interesting topic in terms of innovation and the ability to improve operations and cut costs in a leaner environment.

This article shares a number of viewpoints from investors to tech CEOs to industry experts on the future of proptech in the commercial and residential sectors in terms of funding, trends and applications as we move forward.

Contributors include:

  • Gregor Watson, co-founder and head, 1Sharpe Capital
  • Daniel Fetner, general partner, Alpaca VC:
  • Maurice Grassau, CEO and founder, Architrave
  • Travis Connors, co-founder and general partner, Building Ventures
  • Michael Beckerman, CEO, CREtech and CREtech Climate
  • Ashkan Zandieh, managing director, CRETI
  • Sarah Liu, partner on the real estate technology investment team, Fifth Wall
  • Gideon Soesman, co-founder and managing partner, Greensoil Investments and Greensoil PropTech Ventures II
  • Haniel J. Lynn, CEO, Kastle
  • And Many More!

READ THE ARTICLE

Offices Are Still Empty on Fridays, So What Are Companies to Do? by Emily Gallagher (Propmodo)

As we progress with hybrid schedules, we are getting increasing signs that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the times most employees want to be in the office if they have a choice. And that means the death of Fridays as the casual office day.

This article goes into what organizations are doing about this and what may be lost by working at home on Fridays.

Here are a few key stats:

  • Gartner, a Connecticut-based technological research and consulting firm, found that 55 percent of organizations in North America were gearing up to offer “Summer Fridays” in 2019, a nine percent increase from the previous year. But now, of course, we’re in November, and Friday occupancy levels have barely picked up from the summer season.
  • The fact that offices are known to be emptier on Friday contributes to something of a vicious cycle that has nothing to do with the end-of-the-week euphoria; when employees know that their offices will be vacant on a certain day, they’re more likely to avoid it. As Du Bey puts it, “no one wants to come into an empty office."

READ THE ARTICLE

Employees Were Demanded to Go Home. Here's How We Invite Them to Come Back by Cheri Beranek (Entrepreneur)

Everyone is in testing and iterating mode when it comes to the return to the office most predominantly in a hybrid fashion. This article shares some of the macro trends on what employees expect as they return and where their preferences lie.

A few interesting tidbits include:

  • But according to Pew research, 61% of remote workers say they work from home because they prefer to. Among knowledge workers unsatisfied with their current workplace flexibility, 71% said they were open to finding another job in the oncoming year.
  • A 2022 workplace trends survey found that 77% of responding organizations had adopted a hybrid model and most employed an "at-will" policy of office attendance. To encourage people to return, 88 % use incentives to draw people to the office.
  • In an Envoy workplace survey of 800 workers, 61% said their companies had changed their physical workplace to accommodate a hybrid model.

READ THE ARTICLE

Future-proofing the CRE organization by Colliers

This is a pretty good overview of the trends, impacts, opportunities and KPIs that are changing and evolving within Corporate Real Estate. Of particularly note are the changing hierarchies for organizational structures and data around how organizations are shifting space usage with more hybrid strategies. 

Some interesting insights include: 

  • A significant reduction is Office Space specific space in the real estate portfolio as we shift toward meeting spaces and amenities to a larger proportion of our spaces.
  • A greater shift toward hospitality as we look to provide in office services to employees to ensure a positive employee experience.
  • A large opportunity exists to improve employee retention and productivity if we can successfully bridge the gap between work from home and the office and ensure experience suits the purpose of both locations.

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