How are remote office workers faring, and what will the new normal look like? See Cushman & Wakefield’s global survey

by Brianna Crandall — July 8, 2020 — Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield recently analyzed responses from more than 40,000 individuals globally in one of the largest surveys conducted on work-from-home experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing insight into how remote-working 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.

Brett White, executive chairman and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, stated:

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. 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.

Despina Katsikakis, head of Workplace Business Performance at Cushman & Wakefield, remarked:

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.

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.

Visit The Future of Workplace to download the report, view an infographic, and watch a webinar. Cushman & Wakefield has approximately 53,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries who deliver value for real estate occupiers and owners across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services.