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MRI: sharp fall in employers willing to offer remote work to all

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Karl Tomusk

The percentage of companies planning to adopt policies that would allow all employees to work remotely has fallen from 39% to 26% since March, according to a survey by MRI Software.

The trend suggests that occupiers are refining future workplace strategies, the report said.

However, this does not mean fewer companies are embracing remote work in some form.

Although employers are less likely to offer the option of remote work to all employees, 70% are considering a policy in which some employees are allowed to work remotely – up from 60%.

Nearly 80% have increased the availability of remote work since the start of the pandemic.

Other insights from MRI’s survey of 172 tenants and landlords include:

  • Most tenants want enough workspace for the vast majority of their employees: 52% of occupiers said they plan to have seating capacity for 76-100% of their workforce. About 13% plan to accommodate less than half of their workforce.

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  • Designating days for remote working has become less popular: 40% of respondents said they will designate days in and out of the office for individuals or teams. This is down from 56% in March.
  • Most tenants want to adopt more tech to manage changes to office use, but a growing number are happy with what they have: about 50% said they have the technology needed to manage changes, while 70% will adopt new tech in the future
  • Tracking people in buildings is the most sought after use of proptech: more than 60% have adopted or plan to adopt tech to track and manage people on-site. The least popular use in the survey was meeting space reservation and management, with only a fifth interested in that

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Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI, said: “Many companies already made remote work available before the pandemic, but the mass shift to home working demonstrated to most businesses that staff and executive teams could continue to be productive outside of the office.

“Pandemic-driven technology adoption simplified the process of staying connected and collaborative, but organisations still recognise the benefit of bringing employees back to the office and offering hybrid work arrangements that support engagement, workplace culture and productivity.”

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