October 14, 2020
A post-COVID workplace survey by JLL’s Big Red Rooster shows 94% of employees want the option to return to the physical office, indicating that remote work should augment, not replace, traditional offices. The survey found that between workplaces, restaurants, and retail locations, respondents trust workplaces the most in terms of safety, reaffirming a positive outlook for the future of office demand.
“It’s clear that the role of the office is going to evolve, and it won’t be exactly the same as it was before the pandemic,” said Matt Skally, SVP of Project and Development Services for JLL in Seattle and Portland.
JLL’s study and input from clients reveal the majority of people will make their way into the office parts of the week, if for no other reason than to relieve fatigue. Ultimately, they say working from home is impacting their well-being and productivity. Companies must support those returning employees with work environments that make them feel comfortable from a health and safety perspective, while also seeking ways to enhance productivity and job satisfaction.
Employees now place an acute priority on their health and workplace hygiene, and those considerations are playing a pivotal role in shaping occupational density trends. New technologies are helping to enhance office environments and counter the reluctant reaction employees now have to highly dense, large, open-plan offices. While the upward trend in office density has sharply reversed as a result of adopting social distancing practices, JLL predicts the extreme de-densification levels seen on initial re-entry will ease back partially to pre-COVID-19 levels – especially once a vaccine or effective treatment is available.
JLL Seattle SVP Blair Stern concludes, “Culture, collaboration, productivity and having a place for social interaction are intangibles that are hard to quantify. In the long run, both employee flexibility and the attributes of the physical office space will still play an important role in employee retention and recruitment.”
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser