When will they Ever Return to the Office?

When will they Ever Return to the Office?

The pandemic is coming to a fast end and employers are beckoning on their staffs to come back to work. Employees are however not happy about the new development as they want less time in the office and more time at home. According to a global survey by JLL, employees are calling on employers and landlords to create inspiring workplaces with a greater emphasis on personal wellbeing.

The 5th edition of JLL’s top 10 commercial real estate trends released in 2020 explored how firms can reinvent their corporate real estate strategies in response to ever-changing business priorities, a challenging operating landscape and a volatile economic environment.

According to this trend, it was revealed that:

1. Workweek should be switched to four days a week: 74 per cent of 2000 people surveyed want to switch to a four-day workweek, while 71 per cent said a more flexible schedule appealed.

2. Working hours should be split between office and home: Exactly half of the respondents wanted to split their working hours between the home and office, 26 per cent wanted to do all their work from home while 24 per cent said the office was their preferred workplace.

3. Office was the best option for solving work issues: When it came to solving work issues (69 per cent) or collaborating with colleagues (70 per cent), the office was overwhelmingly deemed the best option, well ahead of a third-party location with home a distant third.

4. Increased Health and wellbeing services are highly welcomed by employees: More health and wellbeing services would also be welcomed by most employees, who are returning to their offices across Australia’s central business districts in ever-growing numbers.

5. Office looks and functions must evolve to ensure they remain relevant: Michael Greene, head of tenant representation at JLL, said COVID-19 has been a catalyst for change, giving all concerned a real taste of what working from home means, and landlords must evolve how offices look and function to ensure they remain relevant. “I think there will be moves towards changing the style of the office to make it a meeting place, a collaborative place, not just a place to do concentrated work,” Mr Greene said. People want to feel comfortable and employers will need to do more to attract them into the office because a lot of the process work can be done very well at home.

6. Getting people back to the office is important for big office landlords: Tenant adviser Steve Urwin, director at Kernel said, “I think the whole concept of ‘how do we entice employees back to the office’ comes from a closed mind. I would say ‘why do we want to entice them back to the office?” For Mr Greene, the answer is connection. “The longer people do not come into the office, the sooner that horizontal connection will start to break down,” he said. “You feel that you don’t know most of your colleagues, you have never met them. Once that connection breaks down, that is when office life will swing back, though not to where it was before.”


  • Top 10 Global CRE Trends



  • Office model under threat as staff want more time at home: JLL

by Martin Kelly