CHICAGO, IL—-The average worker spends 40% of the day at their desk. Eighty percent of work is defined as “collaborative.” Forty-three percent of respondents in a survey indicate that less than 5% of their worksite include enclosed offices. More than 80% of workers spend their time engaged in collaborative work. So says JLL’s 2018 Occupancy Benchmarking Report.
What do all these stats ultimately mean? “In this new era, there is no one-size-fits-all flex approach, even within a single corporation,” says Ed Nolan, Managing Director and Workplace Strategy Practice Lead, JLL. “Options are key.”
The use of flex space is becoming just as much art as science, Nolan continues, with flexible spaces inspiring uses that trigger creativity and organically shape collaboration. This could mean employees working from home, a café, an outdoor park or a quiet lounge, kitchen, or conference room within the office. “For every business need, there is an ideal space at any given point in time,” he says.
This is one of the reasons why tracking workplace occupancy is so important. Without the proper tracking in place, it’s nearly impossible to make informed decisions about how much and what type of space is needed. According to the 2018 Occupancy Benchmarking Guide, most corporate space is underutilized 60% of the time and those empty desks represent a significant financial opportunity, given that real estate is typically the second- or third-largest item on a balance sheet. “For most companies, workplace flexibility means financial flexibility, bringing flexible lease terms and portfolio agility—both critical in today’s business climate,” Nolan tells GlobeSt.com.
A Recruiting Edge
In addition to the financial benefits, workplace flexibility gives companies a powerful talent recruitment and retention edge.
“The workforce has become more technologically confident and fluid, with many more telecommuters, freelancers and contractors who make up the gig economy,” Nolan says. “Companies have realized the need for flexible space arrangements to better manage this “liquid” workforce.”
In fact, more than half of companies JLL talked to in a recent survey have some form of mobility program in place, meaning employers are strategically promoting employee choice on where to work and more employees operate without any assigned space. “The changing workforce, combined with the digitization of enterprise work processes, has organizations looking for flexibility in where and how their people work so they can find and attract the best talent, whether they’re permanent employees, contractors or freelancers,” Nolan says. Organizations may also be looking to use short-term space that can incubate innovation, accommodate rapid growth or keep productivity high. Even firms in more traditional industries like law and banking are transforming their workspace to create more collaborative environments and support employee choice, he says.
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By Tanya Sterling | December 28, 2018 at 07:16 AM | GlobeSt.com