Back-to-Office is Anything But Back to Normal

Fertility BenefitsBack-to-Office procedures will be difficult on employers and employees.  American office workers are hungry for a change of scenery.  Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, it appears working from home is getting old.  As such, 70% of employees are choosing to spend time in an office, and a third are renting out co-working spaces.  Airbnbs and vacation homes found new customers according to a new survey by business development firm the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.  The survey was cited in a recent Employee Benefit News article.

In-office perks are also luring employees back to workspaces, according to the survey.  Surprisingly, coffee, food, and snacks would be enticing enough for 42% of employees to return, while 35% listed comfortable furniture as an incentive.  And, 33% said outdoor workspaces would be an attractive draw.  According to the Employee Benefit News article, the stressors of the pandemic have prompted employees to seek change.  Another survey demonstrated that while working from home full-time is still a perk for 31% of workers.  However, 45% want to be in the office five days a week.  And 24% would prefer an even split between the office and home.  The back-to-office mentality has changed!

The Rosslyn survey also showed that employees are open to new ways of working.  The idea of an outdoor office to collaborate safely was of particular interest.  Working outside would be a boost to productivity, according to 76% of survey respondents.  In addition, 86% said it would help improve their mental health.  To be sure, workspaces are important for fostering relationships, connection, and productivity. Humans are social by nature.  Having opportunities to gather and collaborate may be just the inspiration they need to get back-to-office environments.

The recent survey findings demonstrate that employers have a unique opportunity to think outside the box.  When it comes to the vision for the workspaces of the future and bringing employees back to office settings.  The transition, of course, will be a challenge.  As workers adjust to being back together in the office or other co-workspaces – it just may not be the same.  Health and safety are top priorities, but when it comes to creating spaces that engage, encourage and captivate, the sky is the limit.


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