Workplace Experience Newsletter July 2022: The Rise of Flexible Work

This month's newsletter will include recent insights around the future of the office, hybrid work, and employee retention.

We hope this content is helpful as you navigate your return to office plans and bring hybrid work to life.

Return to office

How the Rest of the World Is Returning to the Office- Yasmeen Serhan (The Atlantic)

As organizations think about what returning to the office will look like for them, it can be helpful to look at what others are doing to inform their decision. This article from the Atlantic takes a look at how various companies around the world are returning to the office and why they chose these methods. 

One sentiment that almost all employees across country lines share is the need for flexibility above all else, with a small percentage even willing to take a pay dock to ensure they get it.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • One-third of America's office workers have returned in person.
  • Employers are using flexible work as a recruitment tool to draw talent.
  • The type of industries that a country has affects what model of work they lean into first (hybrid, remote, in-person)


Space Per Employee

Space Per Employee Continues to Shrink, Leaving Little Room to Accommodate Potential Future Growth - (CBRE) 

 This article discusses the ways in which downsizing office space can affect a company's growth in the long run. Despite social distancing becoming more commonplace, the space per employee allocation is at 22 year low. CBRE highlights the correlation between space per employee to economic uncertainty like recessions.

This article poses the question, how can a company downsize their real estate costs without putting themselves and their potential in a box?


Employee Thriving

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement  Dawn Klinghoffer and Elizabeth McCune (HBR) 

Meaningful work can only be done if your employees feel empowered. This article highlights how Microsoft is pioneering new ways to measure and ensure employee success by using the metric of employee thriving instead of engagement. Making sure your employee's needs are being met within the workplace will have many positive outcomes like productivity collaboration and innovation.

Here are a few key points from this article:

  • Employee fulfillment can be divided into five categories: pay, perks, people, pride, and purpose.
  • Office culture is very important to determining employee thriving. 
  • Thriving and work-life balance may affect each other yet they are not the same thing. 


Employee Mental Health

The 2022 State of Workforce Mental Health - Corporate Wellness Magazine

The pandemic has brought unprecedented stress into almost all facets of our lives. This article is a great presentation of new employee sentiments surrounding what they need from their employees in terms of mental health support. One important theme is that in 2022, adequate mental health support is no longer something to be considered a perk, but instead a requirement.

 The current data surrounding workforce mental health:

  • Employees were more likely to report experiencing stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression over the past year.
  • "84 percent of workers surveyed experienced at least one mental health challenge over the past year, from issues such as stress and burnout to diagnosable conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD".
  • Employees with access to adequate mental health support in the office are more likely to benefit from the care that they receive.



Hybrid Work as "the Mother of All Experiments"- Britta Schellenberg (Robin) 

 Although the future of work is now, we are still trying to figure it all out. Hybrid work is extremely different from the workplace models of the past and there is no better way to learn how to bring it to life than by trial and error.

In this article, Robin makes the point that because we are all learning as we go, it is important to see mistakes as an opportunity for growth rather than something bad. Only after learning from our mistakes can we create the most efficient and empowered employee population and office possible. 

 Some key insights: 

  • Change in return to office policy is okay and an integral part of the process.
  • Mandating the return to office without any employee consideration diminishes organizational trust and makes you much less desirable as an employer.


Workplace Experience Ideabook

2022 Workplace Experience Ideabook (Direct Download) - Various Contributors

This year we were able to get 20+ CRE experts to share their ideas on the future of work and the impact the office can play in flexible work. We asked them the following question, "What strategies can help make the office a meaningful part of work for employees in 2022 and beyond?".

Ideas provided by:

  • Vik Bangia (Verum Consulting)
  • James Scott (MIT Center of Real Estate)
  • Dan Anninos (Iron Mountain)
  • Hiro Monji (Hines)
  • Simon Davis (Purposeful Intent)
  • Kay Sargent (HOK)
  • Nellie Hayat (Density)
  • Fernanda Belo (VergeSense)
  • Brendan O'Neill (Robin)
  • Janet Morra (Margulies Perruzzi)
  • Nikki Rafie and Elfreda Chan (Twitter)
  • And many more.

The link below will give you direct access to the Ideabook with no signup required. Happy reading!


Employee Sentiment Workplace Experience Flexible Work July 2022 Newsletter


Download our Guide "An Employee Experience Focused Return to the Office"

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