Daily Digest News – June 2, 2021


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:

Physical Workplace Remains an Important Part of Facebook’s Future

Facebook’s real estate executives told Commercial Observer that the company will continue to grow its global footprint of offices. Last year, 2020, Facebook added 84,600 square feet to its existing lease at Tishman Speyer’s Brickyard Campus; the tech company also signed a lease for office space in New York and purchased a 400,000 square foot complex in Seattle. 

Speaking about the return to the office, John Tenanes, vice president of global facilities and real estate at Facebook, said:

“Our workplaces are the heart of our culture and important to building connections. We’ll continue expanding as we grow, and our offices will thrive again once it’s safe to return.”

While the tech giant does plan for a return to the office, Facebook expects that half of its workforce could be working remotely in the next 5 to 10 years. 

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Are Long Working Hours Killing Us?

A new study found that working more than 55 hours a week could potentially kill you. The data comes from the World Health Organization, which found that 745,000 people died in 2016 from working long hours. Specifically, the data found that workweeks of 55+ hours put workers at an increased risk. 

“The research found that working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35 percent higher risk of stroke and a 17 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared with a working week of 35 to 40 hours,” the BBC reported. 

The reasoning behind this is that long working hours tend to lead to chronic stress. They prevent people from forming healthy habits, and they often lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking and alcohol consumption. 

For years, many have argued that working long hours is counterproductive and can hurt business in the long run; this new research simply adds to the growing body of evidence that intense work schedules not only affects business, but also our health. 

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To Future-Proof CRE Properties, Owners Need to Prioritize Tech

The CRE industry was hard hit by the pandemic. As CRE leaders start thinking about the future, smart workplace tech and integrated people flow management systems have become a point of focus as they think about the return to the office. 

Technology will play a key role in creating safe and productive work environments of the future. One of the challenges CRE owners will need to address is centralizing the tools and services they currently use, especially if they want to start offering flex-space scenarios. Specifically, tech will play a key role in remote registration, touchless check-ins, person presence, and health and safety of tenants. 

CRE experts believe another area of focus is tech integration. A recent survey found that 87% of CRE experts believe only half (or less) of their workplace tech solutions integrate with one another, which could potentially negatively impact tenant experience. In the end, offices that provide the best tenant experience are the ones that use smart technologies. 

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    COVID-19 Accelerated New Realities, Companies Need to Respond Accordingly

    The COVID-19 pandemic created economic volatility and exposed inequalities. As a result, businesses are having to set new standards around their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. 

    One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is creating more inclusive and sustainable economic growth; with new work and social realities created by the coronavirus pandemic, companies need to identify gaps, prioritize wellbeing, and reshape the dialogue. 

    For example, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women and men, as well as minority groups; with the World Economic Forum estimating that the pandemic set equal gender pay back by a generation. Some companies are responding to this by providing more caregiving benefits and allowing for more flexible work. 

    Wellbeing is also a key priority moving forward for employees to thrive and to decrease stress and other health conditions caused by stress and long working hours. 

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    Zoom Rolls out New Features to Support Hybrid Work

    After 18 months of lockdowns, the world is ready for more face-to-face interactions. Zoom believes the future of work is hybrid; specifically, the future of work is all about flexibility. In a recent survey by the video conferencing company, the definition of hybrid work was “a work-from-home policy that is more relaxed after the COVID-19 pandemic ends than it was before”. 

    During a call, Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan said that “many customers I talk to are looking to create hybrid solutions as they seek to cautiously reopen some offices.” To support the future needs of companies and workers, Zoom is rolling out new features, including Zoom Rooms and Zoom Events. 

    Yuan also stated that one of his business goals if ro Zoom to serve all businesses as they reopen, “that’s why you see a lot of initiatives around that angle—either the conference room, or the phone, built-in chat, or meetings.”

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    Workers Ready to Quit over Remote Work

    A survey commissioned by Bloomberg found that 39% of workers would consider quitting their jobs if their bosses aren’t flexible about working from home. Millennial and Gen Z workers feel the strongest about the topic, with 49% of them ready to quit according to the poll. 

    While some companies have announced they will allow employees to continue working remotely once the pandemic is over, others have announced that workers will be expected back in the office in the near future. 

    For example, Blackstone Group said vaccinated workers will need to be back in the office on June 7; JPMorgan Chase called employees back to the office in mid-May; and Facebook is reopening its Manhattan offices on July 12. 

    The above goes against what workers want. A JLL survey found that 72% of surveys want to work from home more, with only 24% saying they want to go back to the office full-time. 

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