The pandemic COVID-19 (also called Coronavirus) started in 2019 with the first cases, the hit on everyday life happened in the first 6 months of the year 2020. The spread increased in January and February in Asia and rose in Europe, northern and southern America in March and April.
This spread forced the governments to ask the population to stay home till May or June, depending on the country or the region. Or in other words, to stop going to the office. Teams were required to work from home (WFH) and office spaces remained empty for months. Companies, CEO and managing teams, understood the potential of remote work and the cost of an office space while keeping empty / safe from employees.
In the survey The Future of Office Space after COVID-19, we try to understand the impact of the pandemic, the future of office space and the exponential rise of remote work.
Infographic about the future of office space after COVID-19
Learnings from the survey
Working from home (WFH), overall a good experience
With 91% of the respondents working exclusively from home during the quarantine, the overall rating of WFH experience was very positive. Almost 3/4 said they had a positive experience and they enjoyed having more flexibility (74%) and more private time (60%).
85% are willing to repeat the experience of WFH like during the quarantine but some would appreciate having direct contact with their teams (47% of the respondents were missing their team and direct contact).
More efficiency sparingly
According to the respondents, the efficiency of the team went slightly better as 44% said they were more focused WFH and 25% of them said it went really much faster. It could be due to the available tools. In the last years, the rise of collaborative platforms was very important and they went on a big test with the quarantine. The responses are ambivalent with positivism. With an average of 3,4/5, it does not give a strong impression of happiness about the tools but opens more opportunities. Possibly, the number of meetings on video calls increased and for some respondents, it could have been very time-consuming.
Collaborative platforms could learn a lot from this quarantine time and it is sure that we will see strong improvement of online tools enabling employees to work remotely.
Uncertain time after COVID-19
More than 1/3 of the respondents did not know end of June or beginning of July when they will go back to the office. Here to consider is the spread of the respondents from all continents. Countries were at different levels in the quarantine. Some countries had already the quarantine behind, some were loosening the quarantine restrictions and others went almost back to normality with few restrictions.
We can see it in top 2 and 3 answers, 21% went back to the office in June and 15% in July. Even though a small percentage will keep on working remotely (5%) and 3% are waiting till next year 2021 to go back to the office.
Not really back to the office
With 33% going back full time to the office, most of the teams (34%) will only go back to the office a certain percentage of time and 23% will only be part-time in the office.
For a total of 39% going back to the office, the companies are offering solutions like flexible office (35%), shared desk (6%) or a desk in a coworking space (6%). For those who will work remotely or have flexible office options, only 8% of the respondents will get special furniture for working from home.
The impact of the pandemic COVID-19 will be if you can be during the week at the office and how often you will access it. Some companies were already shifting to flexible or shared desks, the pandemic forced the companies into considering these options. Employees appreciated the experience of the quarantine and are more willing to work partially (43%), from time to time (31%) or even permanently (18%).
The pandemic opened new ways of working for a big part of companies. Some comments from exchanges around this survey were actually that office space could become a perk and remotely working could become a standard. With almost half of the respondents (47%) that were missing direct contact and team, it is more likely that companies will have to decide based on the products or services what they can offer and remote work will hardly become a standard.
About the respondents
The results were collecting from Friday 19th June 2020 till Friday 17th July 2020. 256 respondents (employees, managers, CEO or freelancers) took part.
Cities where the respondents work (95): Aix-en-Provence, Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Arcueil, Athens, Atlanta (GA), Augsburg, Badalona, Baden-Baden, Barcelona, Bellevue (WA), Berlin, Biarritz, Bilbao, Bogota, Bordeaux, Brasov, Bremen, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Buxtehude, Cairo, Canberra, Cannes, Cleveland (OH), Cluj-Napoca, Cologne, Copenhagen, Delft, Dresden, Dubai, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edmonton, Enschede, Epernay, Esch sur Alzette, Faulquemont, Frankfurt am Main, Fulda, Gdansk, Hamburg, Heilbronn, Ivry-sur-seine, Konolfingen, Iasi, Leuven, Lille, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles (CA), Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Lüneburg, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Manhattan Beach (CA), Mannheim, Massy, Mechelen, Metz, Monaco, Montigny le Bretonneux, Mexico City, Munich, Nantes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Novi Sad, Nuremberg, Oradea, Orléans, Paris, Porto, Potsdam, Rueil-Malmaison, Saint-Priest, San Diego (CA), San Francisco (CA), Singapore, Sofia, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Timisoara, Toronto, Toulouse, Umkirch, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, Windhoek, Zurich
Or the countries (28): Australia, Belgian, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America
Special thanks to all participants around the world, who took their time and shared their experience.
Also a big thanks to the collaborative platforms Bannersnack, Jostle and Ora that promoted the survey to their communities.
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