More Companies Tightening Remote-Work Eligibility

Article originally posted on Globe St. on November 9, 2021

The number of companies willing to allow all employees to work remotely fell to 26% to 39%, a new survey shows.

New research shows that the number of companies willing to allow all employees to work remotely fell to 26% to 39% between March and September 2021 and 70% of survey respondents planned to institute policies that tighten up remote work eligibility and onsite requirements⁠—up from 60% in March.

MRI Software partnered with CoreNet Global to survey a group of close to 200 tenants and landlords from a range of industries globally.

At the same time, the results also show that, overall, nearly 80% of responding commercial occupiers have increased the availability of remote work. Some 69% of respondents said that the worldwide shift to remote working during the pandemic has fundamentally changed their long-term approach to space usage⁠—only slightly down from 71% in March.

The research also found that landlords’ apprehension over the rise of remote working increased significantly over the same period, with 43% concerned about its impact on their business compared to just 26% in March.

As remote work continues to unfold, there are some factors that will remain constant.

For instance, Gale Moutrey, Steelcase Global Vice President, Brand Management + Workplace Innovation, tells GlobeSt that “as employees return to the office, implementing flexibility⁠—and cultivating the trust it requires⁠—can be a catalyst for new ways of working and can redefine how the office can help people thrive.”

According to Steelcase research, 59% of employers report the biggest benefit of hybrid work is the ability to attract and retain talent, while the biggest threat is culture erosion. “Although it will look different for everyone, hybrid work is, perhaps, the biggest opportunity organizations have to reinvent their culture,” Moutrey said. “Everyone who works in an office⁠—from the C-suite to junior staff⁠—will need to adjust expectations about how work happens, adopt new behaviors and rethink the role of the office going forward.”

A recent survey by Avison Young showed:

  • 89% of survey respondents felt that their home environment enables them to work productively;
  • 93% of survey respondents said that they work effectively with managers and colleagues from their home office; and
  • 75% of survey respondents felt that they were able to maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home.

Alex Lopatynsky, principal and managing director of design firm Cooper Carry’s New York office tells GlobeSt that her firm feels strongly that a hybrid workplace is the way to go because it allows people the flexibility and autonomy that they were able to experience over the pandemic.

“We recently renovated our offices and added more tech-enabled communal spaces that allow in-office and remote employees to collaborate seamlessly,” Lopatynsky said.