Nearly nine out of 10 workers want the option to work remotely once offices reopen, according to findings by technology company OpenSensors.
Results from a survey by OpenSensors show that a similar level of employees (90.5 per cent) are being offered the option to pursue remote working post-Covid-19.
But the poll also indicates that nearly half (47 per cent) also said they expected their companies’ real estate portfolio to be increased as a result of Covid-19, with a third saying it will reduce.
Although demand for hybrid working is clearly on the rise owing to shifts in expectations prompted by the pandemic, companies face a challenging period to meet rising demands for new office set-ups. Nearly nine in 10 workers (88 per cent) shared notice that they were changing office layouts.
More than half of respondents were changing office set-ups by increasing collaboration space and adding bookable seats, with 44 per cent also adding booking systems.
Hybrid working, where employees spend part of their time in the office and the rest either at home or elsewhere, is on the rise. EY has become one of the latest large employers to say its 17,000 staff must work from home at least part of the time while the 3,000 employees at fintech banking app Revolut were told in March that they could choose to be fully remote if they wish – as well as spend up to 60 days abroad each year.
Although managers are keen to encourage workers back to offices, those employees opting to come in have specific new demands.
Aside from the adequate provision of PPE, the most popular factors cited as having the greatest impact on employee health and safety relate to air quality. One in two said that both monitoring air quality and adding air filters had the greatest impact.
Yodit Stanton, CEO and founder of OpenSensors, said: “Companies need to figure out how to use their real estate better. The demand for flexible working too often overlooks that many employees want to return, at least in part to the office but, crucially, they expect to see changes in the environment of office life.”
She added: “Companies need guidance on how to adapt work-life balance, space and office set-ups to help support teams and workers alike. In particular, these changes include improving air quality, monitoring and managing space occupancy, automating booking and more.”
The survey also revealed that most companies rely on manual surveys (68 per cent) and employee feedback (58 per cent) to manage space, rather than actual space, occupancy and utilisation technologies.
The online survey of 1,076 respondents took place from April-May 2021.