Offices will continue to play a central but different role in how work gets done

Companies want to the second 1 / 2 of this season for a go back to the office, based on the EMEA Occupier Survey of 130 companies from CBRE. Small companies are advanced in the go back to office and similarly further, plans to look at flexible working patterns vary based on the size of the organisation.

Over 80 % of small companies open report all locations. This compares with just a third of the biggest companies, although most them have opened over fifty percent of these sites.

The analysis highlights differences by sector. Over 70 % of life sciences companies report full reopening of offices, reflecting the issue of working at home in this sector partly. Banking & finance (57 %) and technology, media & telecom (TMT) (46 %) are reopening at a far more deliberate pace.

The survey discovered that nearly all companies, and nearly 80 % of larger businesses – those employing a lot more than 10,000 employees – are leaning towards some type of hybrid or mixed working pattern. Over two-thirds of companies favouring a hybrid model say their policies and approach have already been set through consensus at corporate level.

Richard Holberton, CBRE’s Head of EMEA Office Occupier Research, comments:

Size and sector differences are substantial in this certain area. Across the sample all together, 20 % support a full-time go back to the working office for some employees, but also for small companies this rises to 63 %. Support for corporate-defined hybrid models is a lot more than 60 % in the banking & tMT and finance sectors, while no more than 50 % in life sciences.”

Any office will continue steadily to play a central – though different – role in how work gets done. Hardly any of the firms surveyed plan a completely remote solution and office-based work continues to feature prominently within their plans.

Nearly 80 % of corporates be prepared to choose a workplace policy where work is either fully or mostly done in the office, or equally split. Only 15 % of companies expect a remote solution fully.

Companies are balanced within their expectations for changes in portfolio size evenly, with a third looking to expand the quantity of space they occupy on the next 3 years.

TMT companies are optimistic particularly, with over 60 % expecting an expansion within their portfolios. Expectations in banking & finance are a lot more balanced; exactly the same proportion (slightly below 30 %) are organizing for expansion in addition to contraction, while a good 40 % that expect no noticeable change.

The worthiness occupiers put on flexibility shall continue steadily to rise, partly in reaction to near-term economic uncertainty but also for more strategic reasons also. When asked concerning the percentage of flex space creating the ongoing company portfolio, businesses which have between 11-50 % of these portfolio in flex space, be prepared to note that percentage double on the next two years. Medium-sized companies and the TMT sector look partial to the flex-space approach particularly.

Holberton continues: “Two compelling reasons emerge for the rising popularity of flex: its use as a means of evaluating different occupancy models, so when a way of providing employees with an increase of choice over work place and location. The second of the is really a particular driver for large companies and they’re increasingly willing to test out different space type combinations and reconfigure space to reflect evolving employee preferences and learnings from initial pilots.”

When looking more broadly at factors that influence building selection, three factors dominate: flexibility, sustainability and wellness, air quality especially. Around 40 % of companies highlight sustainable design as an integral factor, on par with the ones that value technology integration and 54 % cite indoor quality of air. Large companies supply the most importance fully selection of building amenities, in keeping with the far-reaching changes in work portfolio and practices strategy that some are thinking about.

As companies move closer towards resuming office-based work, restoration of the features that could have already been eroded during lockdowns are clearly top of mind, collaboration principally, engagement and fostering a solid corporate culture. The primary implications for the workplace are enhancing or increasing collaborative areas (36 %), piloting new workplace strategies in select locations (33 %) and revisiting design standards (22 %).