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Hybrid workplace model in tiles

Are Offices Ready for Flexible Work? The Answer is Mixed

Even with the increase in back-to-office mandates from employers, employees continue pushing for a hybrid arrangement. While most of the corporates are accepting the need for a workable hybrid model, a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. indicated that “relatively few companies have aggressively addressed the full spectrum of capabilities that would create a best-in-class workplace experience.”

Some Survey Takeaways

The survey introduced a set of 12 capabilities that McKinsey identified as important to successful hybrid workplace transformations. These included gathering employee data, considering sustainability, leveraging advanced workplace technology and creating work-from-anywhere systems. While these were being adopted by some companies, “another third of best practices, including implementing a test-and-measure system and documenting processes, are eluding even the most progressive occupiers,” according to the survey.

The McKinsey analysts believe that the following issues might be standing in the way of full workplace transformations:

  • Long-standing perceptions – like the number of in-office days equals success – could be standing in the way of change
  • Going back to the way things were, rather than spending time on new ways of working is considered easier
  • Companies are finding that implementing more “magnetic and inclusive environments” are requiring “significant financial and leadership resources”

Analytics are a Must

Additionally, the survey noted that nearly half of the companies queried aren’t relying on advanced research and analytics to understand information like mobility patterns, demographics and even employee perceptions. Because of this, “companies may struggle to predict nuanced trends, such as if a specific population of employees is coming into the office less frequently than others,” the McKinsey analysts pointed out.

The analysts’ surmised that while organizations do understand that hybrid is the new normal, most are far from adopting true hybrid principles. These include creating policies, workflow and documentation to help employees understand the most effective ways of hybrid working.

Building Owners Can/Should Help

And it isn’t just corporates that could benefit from these adoptions. The McKinsey survey/report also suggested that building owner/operators have an opportunity to differentiate their spaces by using analytics, portfolio flexibility and hospitality services.

Other tools for differentiation could include working with occupiers to understand workforce strategies gaps and offer solutions (like better data trafficking to understand how employees are using spaces). Furthermore, built-environment options could include modular furniture and designs, shared work and meeting spaces, on-site events, building amenities and linking “tenants to services and activities in the surrounding neighborhood,” the McKinsey analysts said.


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About Amy Wolff Sorter

I love content. I love writing it, visualizing it, and manipulating it to fit into different formats. I have years of experience in working with content, both as creator and editor. The content I create and edit provides assistance with many goals, ranging from lead generation, to developing street cred through well-timed thought-leadership pieces. Content skills include, but aren't limited to, articles and blogs, e-mails, promotional collateral, infographics, e-books and white papers, website copy and more.

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