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COVID-19 drives demand for flexibility and more meaningful office connections

A new survey of 1,000+ U.S. office workers shows a changing relationship with the office and what that means for the future of work.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work remotely, professionals see their relationship with the office changing after COVID-19.

In a survey of 1,000+ U.S. office workers, we discovered a workforce fully embracing the flexibility remote work offers and rethinking the value of going back to the office after COVID-19.

That’s not to say people don’t plan to head back to the office. They do. Overwhelmingly, professionals view the office as a critical place to meaningfully connect with colleagues.

We have identified how COVID-19 is profoundly impacting how professionals carry out their workdays — and reshaping expectations about what a return to the office looks like.

COVID-19 Research Stat 1

Embracing Flexibility

A long-sought benefit

Overwhelmingly, people want to go back to the office after COVID-19. But a central concern is losing the newfound flexibility to work remotely.

COVID-19 Research Stat 2

Seeking a More Intentional Office

Prioritizing productivity over play

Chance encounters with colleagues and in-person meetings are hard to replicate online — and people value these in-office interactions most.

Three Key Takeaways

Professionals will demand more flexibility to work outside the office
While a majority of employees want to go back to the office after COVID-19, they are discovering significant benefits to remote work — and they’re unlikely to give these up.
Workspaces that prioritize meaningful interactions over socializing will win.
From chance encounters with colleagues to in-person meetings, professionals overwhelmingly value meaningful interactions in the workplace over fun amenities and social events.
Overall, companies will need to reconsider how they invest in office space.
As employees increasingly expect flexible work benefits, organizations will need to consider the potential for reduced office occupancy, which has ramifications for how much office space requirements.

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