Our initial survey results from May 2020 showed solutions to solve for immediate social distancing as the leading concern of organizations in terms of re-integration strategies. Work from home programs now lead as the primary concern, followed by solutions for social distancing and space planning. Organizations report that integrating the use of software for office occupancy and room reservations has also become an area of importance.
Continued telecommuting emerged as the leading approach for businesses moving into early 2021, followed by rolling occupancy plans. Most noteworthy in the results for this survey is the sharp increase we see in the number of organizations that plan on keeping more employees working from home and for longer periods of time. We have seen an increase not only in the number of companies that plan on continuing WFH programs, but also in the number of employees.
Only 10% of organizations initially reported keeping over half of their employees working from home – that number of companies has now increased to 35%. With more of a focus on WFH programs, companies are now investing in stipends and allowances for employees to adequately set-up home offices. However, an overwhelming percentage of participants reported they still need support and resources in terms of ergonomic work from home programs.
Our survey shows that companies are significantly shifting their focus from the office to home offices. While organizations initially reported workstations as extremely important in their spaces, home offices are now the leading concern. With this shift we are also seeing that companies plan on reducing real estate commitments, whether it be through sub-leasing existing spaces or signing onto shorter leases.
Our research shows that work from home programs have become the most crucial aspect of workplace planning moving into 2021. Companies are planning on keeping more employees working from home and for longer periods of time than initially expected. Methods to standardize WFH programs are still being considered, while organizations continue to seek support and resources for home office set-ups.
While this data will be utilized in our collaborations with clients, we also understand all companies are different, with different priorities, cultures and working methods. We will continue asking questions and researching the ways that we can better serve our clients, and therefore our community, during a time when social responsibility and safety is paramount.