Companies today are facing complex performance challenges as the COVID-19 resurgence heightens the need to reinvigorate employee engagement. JLL’s new “Human Experience” report explores these changing workforce dynamics and expectations in a post-pandemic world and offers insights for how forward-thinking companies can reimagine their approach to managing their people and workplaces to stay ahead in 2021.
Hybrid work and expansion of diverse office environments will become the status quo
Surveying more than 2,000 office workers across 10 countries, JLL’s report measured the current sentiment of office workers, finding that the workplace of the future will be a hybrid one, mixing on-site and off-site collaboration to offer freedom and choice across a variety of spaces and locations. This new status quo of hybrid work models will likely be a rich environment comprised of a large variety of spaces that accommodate the full range of working and workday needs.
Employees are eager to maintain the flexibility of widespread remote work established during the pandemic and are interested in working from home an average of two days per week. This hybrid approach is the most sought after, with nearly three-quarters of employees wanting to have access to an office. Further, JLL’s earlier Human Performance report found that 80 percent of high performers have missed their office greatly during lockdown.
“The COVID-19 crisis has incited a massive paradigm shift in the world of work,” said Flore Pradère, Research Director, JLL Corporate Solutions Research. “To adapt to this new normal, the future of work must be reimagined to focus on the needs and preferences of a liquid workforce. This means offering employee-centric solutions that value choice and flexibility to optimize employee experiences and performance.”
Human-centric workplace to prevail over digitally connected work
Despite the willingness to work-from home on a regular basis post-pandemic, employees still retain a strong affinity for the office, especially as it relates to providing a sense of community and belonging – where remote work has led to gaps in supporting collaboration, leadership and managerial competencies. Seventy percent of employees believe an office environment is more conducive to team building and management support.
JLL’s Human Performance research also found that this social aspect of the office was crucial to employee performance and that technology was struggling to replicate the experiences employees have historically shared in the physical space. Further, 97 percent of high performers described their office as enabling easy collaboration, and 89 percent consider their colleagues as a second family.
Renewed focus on quality of life and well-being
Traditional work priorities have also been deeply challenged during the pandemic. Employees cite work-life balance (72%) as more important than securing a comfortable salary (69%) and indicate that living consciously and healthily is as important as finding purpose in their job.
“There’s no going back to the old ways of working,” Dr. Marie Puybaraud, Global Head of Research, JLL Corporate Solutions concluded. “Those who are courageous and proactive in reimagining their workplace to address changing workforce preferences will be the future leaders of business in a post-pandemic world.”