Daily Digest News – April 27, 2021

Daily Digest April 27

Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.

Here’s what you need to know today:

IWG Sees Certain Markets Rebound

After over a year of the global office market attempting to stay afloat, IWG’s CEO believes that the worst is behind the company.

IWG said that the past three months was its “most challenging quarter” due to occupancy falling to 66% from 75% the year prior, causing it to leave behind underperforming locations.

Additionally, revenue dropped 21% compared to this time last year, which saw a record high of £528 million. 

“It looks like the worst is behind us. We can see improving markets — not across the board, but in a number of areas,” said Mark Dixon, chief executive at IWG.

Recovery across the company’s portfolio has been uneven, and the strongest rebound has been outside of central cities, which Dixon believes will continue to be a trend after the pandemic is over.

For instance, offices in the suburbs of London have recovered much faster than those in central London.

The company believes that the future of the workplace means less fixed offices and more hybrid working arrangements, including “hub and spoke” models.

Moving forward, IWG hopes to boost revenues through franchise agreements, allowing local partners to operate their offices while paying a fee to IWG for its brand usage.

Credit: IWG

Working Parents Want To Continue Working Remotely

A FlexJobs survey of over 1,100 parents found that the majority of parents feel that remote working is beneficial to their productivity.

“These professionals work best when they work for companies that trust them, allow them to work where, when, and how they work best, and understand that processes and results are often more important than location,” said Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs.

The survey also revealed that 61% of parents want to continue working remotely full-time, while 37% prefer a hybrid arrangement. Even more, 62% stated they would quit their current job if they were not offered remote working options.

Disappointingly, the number of women in the workforce hit a 33-year low in 2021. However, respondents believe that a shift to remote working could help improve disparities in the job market.

Remote working was also found to help parents save more money, with 21% stating they’ve been able to save over $200 each week. 

“Keep this in mind: the long-term options working parents have for remote work have greatly expanded since the pandemic began,” said Weiler Reynolds. “More companies than ever are hiring for long-term remote work and embracing at least hybrid offices post-pandemic. If your company isn’t one of them, it may be time to find a new company.”

Credit: Bigstock

Pharma Giant CEO Looks To Hybrid Models

Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis AG, has expressed that the Swiss pharma giant is reconsidering its office space usage and may use it for a hybrid work model

Narasimhan added that this sort of flexibility would allow the company to “access talent pools we would not have been able to access in the past”

This revelation is one that has echoed across various industries as vaccine distribution ramps up and companies plan out their post-pandemic strategies. For many, this means continuing to have both in-office and remote working options as part of their operations.

“We’ll be looking, I think, to adjust our overall footprint and then invest where appropriate,” said Narasimhan. 

Credit: Unsplash

UK Workers Confident About Returning To The Office

Aviva research of over 2,000 UK workers finds that employees are feeling more optimistic about returning to work as vaccinations continue to be distributed.

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According to Aviva’s third Employee Back to Work Index, 71% of respondents said that vaccine rollout made them feel more confident about returning to work, compared to the 50% in November.

In order to bring workers into the office safely, businesses will need to be open to adjusting their protocols and training to keep the workers safe and refreshed in their positions. The survey revealed that 23% of employees said their job changed due to new business operations, but did not receive any training for their new role.

Even more, 40% of respondents said they will continue to split their time between home and the office, 30% have been told they should continue working from home and 24% said their employer expects them to return to the office full-time.

Remote working has been linked to increased risk of cybersecurity issues, with 48% of respondents stating that their employer has not taken any measures to decrease their cyber risk. 

“Cyber attacks come in many forms, and increasingly target employees through phishing and social engineering fraud,” said Chris Andrews, Director of Aviva Risk Management Solutions. “It’s clear from our research that more needs to be done to help employees understand and identify the various forms of cyber attacks while working from home to protect the business.”

Credit: Canva

HSBC To Cut Office Space By 20% This Year

HSBC is expecting to cut its office footprint by 20% this year and its business travel costs by half as it transitions to more flexible work operations.

According to Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson, the bank could be at the halfway point of its original goal of reducing its office space by 40% by the end of this year.

HSBC’s alterations showcase just how fast companies are ready to walk away from office space as many reconsider their workplace arrangements and adopt more remote working policies.

For HSBC, the company is using hot desks for the time being in order to help reduce its footprint at its Canary Wharf headquarters.

“Firms have told us that they remain committed to retaining a central London hub but how they operate will inevitably change to reflect post-pandemic trends, such as hybrid and flexible working,” said Catherine McGuinness, chair of the policy and resources committee at the City of London Corporation.

Credit: Bigstock

Meeting The Needs Of Gen Z Workers

Older workers have often expressed annoyance when dealing with younger coworkers. The misconceptions about Gen Z include them having short attention spans, desire for immediate gratification or a sense of entitlement.

But this comes as no surprise. Boomers often faced their own set of criticisms when working alongside the post-war Silent and Greatest Generations. 

However, organizations don’t have the time to ease into the new changes this generation is bringing to the workforce. With the pandemic accelerating workplace transformation faster than ever, demand for Gen Z talent is skyrocketing.

In order for business leaders to make the adjustments necessary to attract and retain Gen Z workers, Washington State University Carson College of Business (CCB) research offers insight into what this generation wants and needs from their employer.

For starters, 68% of 1,000 Gen Z workers stated they worry about their career growth. In order to accommodate this, employers should create a work environment that is entrepreneurial and puts an emphasis on upskilling opportunities, as well as the quality of work.

Although remote working has become increasingly popular in the past year or so, Gen Z workers are eager to come into an office due to decreased mental wellbeing.

“Navigating remote work with little experience to fall back on has proved challenging for them, particularly when it comes to their mental health,” said Chip Hunter, dean of CCB. “It’s not hard to see why when we consider their typical living arrangements, their limited financial resources and their desire for independence.”

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