Some reports suggest that office occupancy is rising sharply as people head back into the office. But this is not a widespread trend – nor is it a straightforward one.
So what’s going on?
It seems there is a “generational clash” between workers of different ages. JLL’s Workforce Preferences Barometer found that 37% of people over 50 years old are likely to use the office five days a week. However, just 20% of under 35s do the same.
This shows that while hybrid and home-based work appeals greatly to some people, others prefer to keep work in the workplace.
“It’s interesting to note that the most senior age groups are split between advocates and detractors of remote work, making it a challenge for the latter to support teams in a work routine they’ve not embraced themselves,” said Flore Pradere, Research Director in JLL’s Global Work Dynamics team.
It’s not surprising that those who have spent most of their career in company offices find it challenging to switch to remote and home-based work.
The solution lies in working with individuals on a one-to-one basis.
“Firms need to identify those who are finding it challenging, explain what’s in it for them and provide training that develops new skills to help them get the best out of dispersed teams,” Pradere added.
Challenges around future office dynamics look set to continue.
JLL’s Future of Work survey suggests that 53% of organizations are planning to make remote working permanently available to all employees by 2025.
Furthermore, 41% of surveyed decision makers revealed that by 2025 they see the primary purpose of the office being to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and mentorship – which suggests flexible and hybrid work could play a much larger role in the near future.