Aug 10, 2023

Envoy Report Reveals 80% of Executives Set Their Return-to-Office Policies Without Critical Workplace Data

Without sufficient data, the majority of executives have also postponed critical workplace decisions
Envoy Report Reveals 80% of Executives Set Their Return-to-Office Policies Without Critical Workplace Data

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Envoy published its latest report and survey results on workplace trends. The survey, which polled over 1,100 company executives and workplace managers across five industries, explores how these two groups of leaders are now using data to make smarter, more informed decisions about their workplaces and policies.

Whether hybrid or fully onsite, the world’s leading companies are struggling to confidently report what’s happening in their workplaces. The problem is the lack of accurate, easily accessible data. 52% of executives admit not being able to make a critical workplace decision because they lacked the necessary data to assess operational and real estate needs. Furthermore, 80% of the same executives confess that they would have approached the return to office (RTO) differently if they had access to accurate data.

Despite the challenge of accessing and optimizing data, both executives and workplace managers (leaders) agree that analytics is critical to the survival of their workplaces. Accurate data empowers them to make confident decisions about their company’s future. In fact, the majority are leaning into and investing more in data intelligence to predict future needs, boost operational efficiency, and stay compliant.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

Leaders are digging into their data to find out if return-to-office policies are working.

  • 88% of those surveyed work for organizations that have an in-office policy – and most are now measuring the success of this policy by delving into what their data is telling them.
  • To measure their success, 59% spend precious time aggregating workplace data from multiple sources, such as access control systems and sensors. Meanwhile, 31% save time by pulling pre-aggregated information from a single workplace platform. Only 7% use anecdotal feedback from employees.
  • The biggest takeaway: You can’t improve what you can’t measure. When asked how their businesses would benefit from more accessible and accurate data reporting, 73% of leaders said their companies would be better equipped to measure the success of workplace strategies. 66% mentioned improved layout/space management; 52% said they would be better positioned to plan daily workplace services (e.g., food, parking); nearly half (49%) said it would make real estate investment decisions easier, while 47% said it would help them prepare for mandated safety audits. Real-time reporting can help leaders pivot quickly to identify inefficiencies or double down on strategies that work.

Data accuracy and duplication are the top frustrations.

  • What frustrates workplace managers the most is having to check their data for errors and duplications (67%). The second most common frustration is having to manually pull data from multiple sources (64%), followed by the time-consuming process (60%) and contacting vendors for data (48%).
  • Pulling data can be a tedious chore. Often analysts manually combine data from various sources into spreadsheets which then need to be checked for errors and redundancy. The work adds up. On average, it takes a day or more for nearly half (48%) of the workplace managers surveyed to produce an accurate report of what’s happening across their various locations.

Tracking workplace attendance is now universal despite perceived employee concerns.

  • Over half of the executives surveyed (56%) believe their employees have big concerns with companies monitoring their attendance. Despite this, nearly all (94%) companies track employee attendance – either by team or individual. Curiously, only 33% of workplace managers believe employees have major concerns with this type of tracking. One possible reason for the discrepancy: Executives might be more attuned to employee sentiment and external feedback.
  • Employee attendance (90%) tops the list of information that organizations collect, followed by data on deliveries (80%), meeting room utilization (68%), space usage (67%), and visitor foot traffic for compliance (58%).

Of the 1,100+ leaders surveyed:

  • 46% are executives and 54% are workplace managers.
  • 72% are hybrid, and 28% are full-time onsite.
  • 66% of their organizations required workers to return more than 6 months ago; 27% came back 6 months ago or less; and 7% never went remote.

For a deeper perspective on why accurate data is essential to the physical workplace, read the Envoy Report.

About This Survey

Envoy partnered with Hanover Research to survey 1,156 U.S. company executives and workplace managers across consumer services, pharmaceutical, technology, professional services, and manufacturing industries, who work in a physical workplace at least one day per week. “Executives” are defined as those with a seniority of vice-president or greater. "Workplace managers" are defined as those with specific workplace roles. Executives and workplace managers are collectively defined as “leaders.” Survey responses were collected from June 6, 2023 to June 14, 2023. The overall margin of error for the findings is ±2.8% percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

About Envoy

Envoy empowers over 16,000 workplaces and properties around the globe to redefine how their workplaces run. We connect people, spaces, and data in one seamlessly integrated workplace platform, providing a single solution to manage every aspect of any facility, anywhere. Companies of all sizes can deliver unrivaled employee and visitor experiences to optimize working together in-person. By capturing data and space usage across multiple sources, we help customers make informed workplace resourcing and investment decisions–all while supporting the requirements of operating a secure, safe and fully compliant workplace. We power the places where people work best together.

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April Marks
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