Colliers working from home report

Are managers ready to lead distributed companies?

Findings from 5,000 respondents to a global survey by Colliers International have painted a detailed picture of the productivity of workers at home during lockdown.

  • 28% had never worked from home before
  • 51% saw no change in productivity
  • Only 23% saw decreased productivity
  • Eight out of 10 people would like to work one day a week or more from home after Covid-19
  • More than 75% of respondents still feel connected to their team even though they are not physically together

The largest productivity increase was identified in the Technology and Media sectors. The highest productivity decrease was in the Education and Research sectors.

Respondents miss the office as a place to collaborate and bump into co-workers. But also separation between work-life and home-life is important.

The 16-page report, Exploring the post-COVID-19 Workplace, by Colliers’ EMEA workplace advisory team evaluates feedback from its global Work from Home survey to discuss future workplace trends.

Managing forward

  • Most respondents (88%) indicate that their manager is able to manage virtually
  • Respondents who kick off and finish everyday with virtual team meetings feel 10% more connected to their team
  • No correlation is found between the feeling of being connected to a team and using a camera during virtual meetings
  • Younger respondents would like to work slightly more from the office compared to older generations

More than 5,000 respondents from 25 countries and 18 different industries completed the company’s global work from home survey over the past four months, which found support for the continuation of some working from home after the pandemic is over, but also a desire to return to the office to collaborate with colleagues. Some respondents also expressed a preference to having a defined work and home life. The report concludes that the office is far from dead, but that businesses are likely to embrace more remote working practices in the future.

“Attitudes towards remote working have been completely challenged by this global pandemic,” said JanJaap Boogaard, head of EMEA workplace advisory.

“Covid-19 will be the catalyst for a new evolution in office design, as more businesses look at how best to capitalise on the credible option of remote working.

“There are great examples of companies that have transformed their workplaces to supercharge teamwork, collaboration and creativity – however many more need to follow suit. We predict this will become increasingly popular post-COVID-19, alongside increased remote working for those needing time to focus on specific tasks. It means that the way that space is designed and utilised will change, to further represent a business’ brand, culture and values.”

Dorota Osiecka, director of workplace innovation at Colliers International in Poland, said: “Such a change requires developing new habits, modifying the approach to team management and implementing tools to manage the use of new flexible space effectively. For many organisations this can be a challenge, so it is worth starting with a precise assessment of the potential of remote work and diagnosis of the readiness of managers to lead a distributed team. It is also worth considering the digital layer of real estate to properly select technological solutions that will help us implement a new way of functioning.”

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