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Bringing your people back to the workplace? Get tips from the experts

Companies are welcoming their people back to the workplace. Curious about the challenges and opportunities of returning? So were we! In our latest webinar, we heard from workplace thought leaders about their experiences bringing employees back.

Moderator Kay Sargent, Director of HOK’s Workplace Practice, compared findings from separate return-to-office surveys conducted by Envoy and HOK. If you missed it, Envoy partnered with Wakefield Research to survey 1,000 employees who’ve returned to the workplace. HOK surveyed leaders from 50 of their largest client companies to understand their return-to-office strategies.

Here are some key takeaways from the two surveys:

  • 70% of companies plan to adopt a hybrid work model, blending remote and on-site work
  • 71% of employees would prefer a hybrid work model
  • 32% of employers use or intend to use a hot desk booking system to aid with space management
  • Fewer than 25% of employers expect to use workplace technologies such as health screenings and on-site sensors

After sharing these insights, Kay welcomed three panelists: 

  • Amber Kingsnorth – Founder of Māk Interiors
  • Matt Carlson – Vice president at real estate consulting firm Colliers
  • Dustin Hutton-Alcorn – HR manager with tech software company Sauce Labs

These folks offered their perspectives on return-to-office topics. Curious about how the conversation went? Below, we’ve highlighted key questions and answers from the discussion.

Q: What are the challenges of bringing employees back to the workplace?

Dustin: “It’s difficult to create intentional space for collision and connection in a way that’s inclusive and respects people’s comfort level. At Sauce, we are being very intentional to ensure that our people feel safe and secure, and return when they’re ready.”

Want to learn more about creating a workplace experience that attracts people on-site? Check out our ebook, Building a people-centric workplace experience.

Q: How are companies navigating the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic?

Matt: “No one has it figured out. Most of [Colliers’] clients are treating it as an experiment. They have a hypothesis for how they plan to return that they think will work. The comment that we hear the most is that companies plan to be agile. They know they have to be.”

Want to learn more about building an agile work environment? Check out this guide, What is an agile workspace?

Q: How are companies looking to evolve their spaces to attract people back?

Amber: “Clients are looking to create hubs to bring people together for collaboration and socializing. When you come to the office you can work in a lounge setting that also functions as a war room, offering access to different technology.” 

Want to learn more about creating a workplace with the space your people need? Download our ebook, Space management tips to help your people thrive in a hybrid workplace.

Want to hear more from these leaders on their return to the workplace? Watch the full on-demand webinar.

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Chris Appelgren
Author Bio Chris Appelgren

Chris is a digital demand generation manager at Envoy. As part of his job, Chris produces Envoy's workplace webinar series. He is also passionate about music and loves to make art and skateboard in his spare time.