Office, home or hybrid — find out where employees want to work, in this new report

by Brianna Crandall — October 28, 2020 — A new survey conducted by Smartway2, a global provider of workspace scheduling solutions, revealed that only 6% of employees are interested in working from home full time following the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions. The great majority of respondents (over 90%) are looking for a new, flexible arrangement that blends home and office. This sentiment is expected to transform the traditional workplace and compel employers to offer a more flexible work environment and collaboration opportunities.

John T. Anderson, CEO, Smartway2, remarked:

We’ve all been participating in a great, unplanned workplace experiment during COVID-19, and we have learned a lot about employee interests, work habits and what it takes to get the job done. Organizations have found that employees want the best of both worlds. They want the flexibility of being at home with no commute, and at the same time, they want the collaboration and socialization of the workplace. According to our survey, nearly all employees are interested in a blended arrangement of working from home and office, and forward-thinking companies are already beginning to reimagine ways of operating — with the help of technology — to create this optimal work environment.

As part of its global study conducted amid COVID-19, Smartway2 surveyed business decision-makers, primarily in facilities/corporate real estate, human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) to uncover sentiments about returning to work over the long term.

Findings from the survey reveal:

  • Employees find working from home falls short in key areas. A significant 40% of workers miss the social interaction in the office, while 37% miss spontaneous collaboration and idea sharing. Some respondents also feel effective collaboration in pairs or teams is lacking when working from home (12%), and others think the home is not optimized for productivity (12%).
  • Yet they see some pluses to working from home. When it comes to the benefits of working from home, workers cited the flexibility in how they organize their time (45%), no commute (30%), fewer distractions (19%) and feeling comfortable (6%).
  • Most workers say they are looking for a hybrid work environment. A full 92% of workers would opt to work from both home and the office. 39% prefer working from home most of the time, with some time at the office; followed by those who want to spend equal time in each environment (32%), and those who want to work primarily from the office, with some time at home (21%). Only 6% percent of respondents would ideally like to work from home full time, and 2% of employees would prefer to return to the office full time.
  • The workplace environment is shifting; 78% of employees believe the pandemic has accelerated their organization’s plans to shift to more agile, flexible and autonomous work environments.

To download the full findings from the COVID-19 Returning to Work Survey, visit the Smartway2 website.

Smartway2 is a privately held, global company with headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The company provides next-generation workspace scheduling solutions, leveraging space utilization data to drive superior employee experience, productivity and collaboration. It recently introduced a new solution to help companies address workplace issues for COVID-19. With operations in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC), Smartway2 provides enterprise solutions worldwide, across key industries including legal, government, technology, pharma, manufacturing and finance.