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22 March 2019
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The study surveyed 130 organisations © Shutterstock

13 June 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal 

Mobility within workplaces has more than doubled in 10 years with the rising use of technology and ‘smart working’, according to a new global report.


The study, entitled The Once Alternative Workplace Strategies, was conducted and released by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics and Haworth Inc.


It states that an increasing number of employees are roaming offices freely, making the most of flexible environments and resources. Internal mobility has more than doubled in the past 10 years, while external mobility has remained the same.


Having surveyed 130 organisations representing over 2.3 million employees globally, the research pinpoints four other trends within today’s workplaces, and compares the findings with the initial research from more than a decade ago.


‘Alternative workplace’ programmes or practices can be defined as ‘the combination of non-traditional work practices, settings and locations that supplement or replace traditional offices’. While some may argue that these styles are no longer ‘alternative’ and are becoming increasingly more common, the 10-year study honoured the original phrasing to best ensure continuity.


The 2018 report has unearthed several key trends including:


1. Only 7% of the respondents believe that implementing alternative workplace programmes can negatively impact productivity

Managers often worry that alternative workplace programmes will lower employee productivity. In most cases, the opposite is true.


2. People impacts are now the primary measure of success

The potential for cost savings might kick-start the programme, but along the way leaders begin to see how making work better for people can deliver far more than they thought.


4.  Assigned seats die hard

The percentage of full-time office-based employees who are permanently assigned to one particular space (48 per cent) has remained almost unchanged since 2008.


5.  Employee involvement is decreasing 

As alternative workplace programmes increase in size and maturity, the report shows employee involvement in the planning, implementation and evaluation has significantly decreased. This runs contrary to what the researchers have found works best; the more people involved in the process, the more likely they are to accept and own it.


You can download the free report here