Daily Digest News – June 14, 2021

Daily Digest June 14

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:

Young Employees Struggle With Returning To The Office

Young workers are wary of letting go of the flexibility remote working offers, but are also fearful of stalling their careers if they do not want to return to the workplace full-time.

Experienced employees have already established their own professional network, but young workers have stated that the pandemic has left them out of the loop.

In fact, a survey by Sharp Corp., found that 60% of 6,000 of respondents said that working in a modern office environment has become increasingly important over the past year. However, the majority of those under 30 have stated that remote working has resulted in higher productivity levels.

“I think the ability to make those connections and network has been more difficult,” said Sophia McCully, a 28-year-old working in public policy research.

McCully added that working from home has also allowed her to balance time with her child and her professional career, something she wants in the future.

Another survey from Citrix revealed that over 60% of workers aged 18 to 40 want some sort of hybrid arrangements moving forward. 

“I think the office is critical. The key question is why and what for?” said Michael Smets, Professor of Management at Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

The future of the workplace has been about collaboration and connection, so shifting the purpose of the office while still valuing the benefits of remote working will be crucial to a healthy workforce.

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Tenants Walk Back On Office Space Reduction

A new survey from BOMA International has found that 55% of tenants are reevaluating their office space needs in the future, a dip from the 61% revealed in BOMA’s Q4 2020 survey.

The survey of 3,115 U.S.-based office space decision-makers revealed that 37% of tenants would be cutting down on their space, another fall from the Q4 survey which noted that 54% would reduce their footprint.

“While this indicates the potential for nearly 4 in 10 tenants to consider some reduction—demanding attention from owners and operators—the numbers are trending toward more stable space utilization,” according to BOMA.

A similar survey from CBRE revealed that 9% of companies have plans to cut down their office portfolios, a drastic decrease from last year’s 39%.

Even more, the Spring 2021 Occupier Survey revealed that 85% of respondents anticipate employees to spend at least half of their time in the office.

BOMA’s survey also finds that 62% of respondents believe the past year will transform how they do business. 

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Wellbeing Is Vital For The Post-lockdown Workforce

A new report from the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and Vitality reveals the how the “long lockdown effect” could harm the mental and physical health of employees

The report is based on research of over 1,000 remote workers that was conducted in January, data from Vitality’s “Healthy Hybrid, a Blueprint for Business” and analysis from RSA research.

This comes as companies work to bring employees back into the office, while simultaneously adjusting their own policies to accommodate the new needs of workers.

According to the report, lockdowns have hindered employee physical health and created an “ergonomic timebomb.” Businesses must play a role in encouraging workers to incorporate more movement into their day, which is essential for a productive, engaged workforce.

The report also noted that Nuffield Health revealed 7 in 10 workers were experiencing more aches and pains in their body, as well as increased eye strain and headaches. Even more, Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey revealed over half of the UK workforce suffered from two or more musculoskeletal conditions.

Additionally, employees are navigating the anxiety related to returning to the office, with 85% of remote workers stating that employee wellbeing will be more valued when making future career decisions.

“The idea of a “healthy hybrid” embodies the argument at the heart of the good work movement – that good work helps make healthier, happier workers; and healthier, happier workers help create good, productive work,” said Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA.

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    Belgium Coliving Firm To Expand In New York And Madrid

    Belgium-based coliving firm Cohabs is looking to expand in New York City after receiving $70.2 million in funding this year.

    Currently, Cohabs has 760 bedrooms across Brussels, Paris and New York City, where it owns three buildings in Crown Heights and Harlem.

    Now, the company is looking for small vacant buildings in New York that could be transformed into coliving facilities that feature 10 to 30 bedrooms. 

    In addition to its expansion plans in New York, the company will open new spaces in Madrid.

    Purchasing properties sets Cohabs’ model apart from other coliving operators, who typically sign master-lease agreements with landlords, redesign the space and rent them out.

    “The master lease model is a real problem. Because as you can see, when you have a drop in rents you don’t have enough to pay the owner,” said Youri Dauber, CEO of Cohabs. “We believe that owning the asset is more capital intensive but it makes us more capable of doing great things within the asset.”

    Although the pandemic has caused many coliving operators to go under, Cohabs has been able to reap the benefits of the increasingly consolidated market.

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    Credit: Cohabs

    Modernizing The Onboarding Process For Remote Workers

    Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Pulse Report” found that 1 in 4 Americans will work remotely in 2021.

    With this, companies preparing for the future of the workplace will need to adjust their onboarding process to accommodate the growing population of remote workers.

    A Gallup poll revealed that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their employer does a good job of onboarding new workers, so to say there is room for improvement is an understatement.

    Onboarding can play a huge role in employee retainment. Clearly communicating expectations, clarifying policies and introducing new workers to team members ensures they easily integrate into the company’s culture.

    This process is particularly important for new remote employees, because feeling connected to the workplace takes extra effort when not physically being in the office.

    Leaders can make this a seamless transition by preparing for their setup as early as possible. This will require the organization to understand what new remote employees may need for the ideal work environment and provide them the necessary equipment.

    Additionally, companies need to adapt their materials for virtual training and introductions. Converting any manuals, handbooks or policies into digital files will make it simple for new employees to understand the ins and outs of the business.

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    The Importance Of Upskilling The Workforce

    Upskilling in the workplace has come to the forefront in recent years, but it’s value should not be underestimated. Without upskilling, companies put themselves at a disadvantage compared to their competitors, and also risk losing top talent.

    According to a report by Gallup, the cost of replacing a single employee can cost up to one and a half or two times an employee’s annual salary.

    Taking the time to upskill employees can not only save companies money, but also ensures they have a highly-trained, productive and engaged workforce.

    But this will require organizations to have a Learning and Development (L&D) program in place. Using this process, companies can help employees at all levels improve and expand their work knowledge.

    For instance, ensuring that employees are up-to-date with the digital know-how will be crucial. Since technology is constantly evolving, companies should invest into e-learning platforms or sponsor a certification program that helps employees expand upon their current digital skills.

    Another method of upskilling can be the use of seminars or webinars. Employees attending these events have the opportunity to be exposed to the most current trends in their business, while also network with those within the industry.

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