Apr 9, 2024

Envoy’s top workplace trends and insights for 2024

Envoy’s exec team weighs in on the top three workplace trends this year.
Amy KirkhamEnvoy Logo
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Marketing Specialist

Over the last year, we’ve seen companies make significant shifts towards in-office work as their preferred method over remote work, with 90% planning to implement return-to-office (RTO) policies by the end of 2024. A key driver of this shift is the recognition that collaboration and productivity thrive in the physical workplace. In fact, according to Envoy’s latest data, 91% of employees who have returned to the office report a more positive experience than anticipated.

This means that the rise in RTO will not only continue but also reshape workplace management strategies. We’ve already seen leaders begin to focus more on the value of accurate data as opposed to estimates, especially when it comes to occupancy data and foot traffic. 

So, how have these changing dynamics driven Envoy’s strategic product enhancements over the last year? From the launch of Envoy Workplace, an all-in-one integrated solution, to the release of emergency notifications and interactive maps, we continue to evolve in step with the changing workplace landscape.

In an era marked by budget constraints, 2024 will be one where companies have to carefully consider and decide how they want to grow. However, one thing remains clear: the workplace will continue to be a vital ally for those aiming to scale and innovate this year.

Workplace Trend: The benefits of onsite collaboration will continue to drive the surge in return-to-work policies and increase in-office attendance

As the number of companies returning to the office continues to rise, so too does the attention surrounding it. On one hand, some companies are perceived to be too strict in their policies to get people back to work. On the other hand, organizations want in-person presence to drive culture, team bonding, and productivity. 

Remembering the value of working together in the office hasn’t been an easy road. Media coverage, budget cuts, and execs becoming even more scrutinous over real-estate costs have been lofty blockers for the workplace. But despite everything, RTO is still triumphing. Why?

The reason is simple: people. 68% of people form friendships at work because of collaboration. 69% of people form friendships at work because of support. And the reality is, folks aren’t going to leave companies if they decide to implement an RTO policy.

In fact, tech companies requiring employees to work from the office witnessed a 32% increase in onsite attendance—a clear win against those with no policy or a flexible one. It’s becoming increasingly apparent: people must be together to solve difficult problems. Without the in-person component, coworkers’ relationships inevitably weaken and become detrimental to business outputs. 

This year, companies will continue to take a chance on returning to their offices. Those who have already made the switch will look to increase their collaboration days together. This won’t necessarily be 5-days a week, as there are a lot of circumstances companies have to take into consideration and balance, but we will see a continued rise towards a majority onsite week.

For those companies looking to improve the adoption of RTO and employee engagement, Larry Gadea, CEO at Envoy, says it all comes down to one key thing: communication.

“We are finding that the companies who are making their policies very clear versus using ambiguous words to describe their desire are seeing much more success. Once onsite, we are seeing companies be much more intentional about making sure everybody else is onsite, on the same days, and in ways everybody can benefit from being there.” – Larry Gadea, CEO at Envoy

Another key contributor to the success of RTO, especially in a market of less spending, is automation. Automation is still in its infancy, but it’s necessary everywhere—from the minute someone enters your building to the minute they leave. 

Automation is also necessary to meet the high expectations of today’s workforce, who increasingly see their physical work environment as integral to their professional satisfaction. This shift underscores the need for workspaces to go beyond basic functionality and, instead, offer seamless, intuitive interactions. Through user-friendly systems like mobile apps, keycards, or facial recognition, employees enjoy a frictionless experience that empowers them to engage in more significant, impactful tasks rather than menial ones.

At Envoy, we’ve made great strides in automating parts of the workplace and have even bigger plans for the year ahead. Some key releases include:

Automated space-saving nudges to help optimize space 

Envoy’s release of automated nudges helps you save space and coordinate your meeting rooms with ease. Here’s how it works: our proactive room utilization feature will send notifications to employees about their booked rooms. These notifications include:

  • Switching to a smaller room when the number of attendees is low or other bookings necessitate it.
  • Alerts to release rooms automatically if the employees who booked them don't show up or don’t check in onsite.
  • Reminders to check into rooms up to 10 minutes before a meeting starts.
  • Automatic meeting clean-up due to missed check-ins. If there are three missed check-ins in a row, Envoy can remove the room from the calendar event and notify the event owner.

Automated occupancy reporting

Navigating the modern office landscape means being able to seamlessly oversee and analyze your office locations, no matter where they are. It's all about having the tools to easily sort and understand data across various dimensions—like which departments are in the office, how often employees are onsite, and when your office is busiest. This smart, all-encompassing approach lets you create insightful reports quickly and share them with the people who need them.

With Envoy’s release of the occupancy analytics dashboard, we now make it easy to read, highlight, and assess your office space across all of your locations in one, centralized area. In our dashboard, you can filter and dissect the data by employee department, frequency of days onsite, peak occupancy days, and tons more. You can then generate reports based on these filters to get helpful one-pagers to send to whoever you need to. 

But what’s automated about that? We’re thrilled to announce that our very latest feature now automates this reporting job. Based on your filters, you can set the time and cadence of your reports to send to people's inboxes on certain days.

Workplace Trend: Further investment in workplace data will be a must-do, not a nice-to-do 

Today’s office is unpredictable and more fluid. It’s challenging to predict when someone will be in the office or working from home. Or if there will be enough desks to support in-office attendance. Or if there’s enough parking… The list goes on. 

It makes managing the efficiency of a workplace a tricky task. Moving forward, companies must find ways to adapt to this new work reality while utilizing their space and controlling costs in a far more inconsistent and dynamic setting. How? By investing in accurate, valuable workplace data.

“To help companies further optimize their workplaces and office real estate, workplace leaders will need data to make informed decisions on how their offices and resources are being utilized. A platform that is able to integrate data from multiple sources—from desk bookings to meeting room usage and badge swipes—will arm leaders with the insights they need for managing workplaces in 2024.” – Larry Gadea, CEO at Envoy

According to our survey data, 53% of businesses lack the data they need to make smarter decisions about one of their largest investments: the workplace.

The reality is, free food, perks, and benefits are no longer enough to keep people happy onsite. While these contribute to enhancing the employee experience, they are temporary fixes. Employees today want a whole different suite of perks. They want accurate data that tells them when their favorite coworkers are going to be onsite. They want to know who is sitting near them each day. They want to know when lunch is so they can build trustful bonds with each other. 

For business leaders, the value of workplace data is also crucial. It supports strategic decision-making in areas like space utilization, workplace policies, and cost evaluation. Leaders today want a data-driven approach that doesn't just cater to employee satisfaction and convenience but also enables them to manage their physical resources in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Here’s a quick lowdown on what Envoy has been working on this year to help workplaces modernize and stand out.

Workplace: the all-in-one solution you need

CEO’s need to be able to make informed decisions about their company’s global footprint, workplace policies, spending, and more. But it’s impossible to make those assessments without the right data or with siloed solutions. In our data report, 80% of executives say they would have approached their company’s RTO strategy differently if they had access to reliable workplace data. Instead, leaders of today’s workplaces need a cohesive, integrated solution that combines various elements to help them effectively manage and optimize their workplace.

Envoy Workplace is a fully integrated solution that combines everything you need to manage and optimize your workplace. It includes desk and room booking, delivery management, and unified occupancy analytics. 

Envoy Workplace is a platform that offers a new perspective by capturing data from multiple sources, such as door access scans, Wi-Fi, employee sign-ins, and more. With reliable, verified workplace data housed in one solution, executives and workplace leaders can make decisions, simplify their work, manage budgets, and get ahead of potential changes. 

Real-time interactive maps 

Recognizing that data informs RTO policies and fosters intentional collaboration among team members, Envoy released real-time interactive maps with advanced wayfinding capabilities. 

Interactive maps provide a comprehensive birds-eye view of your entire workspace by visually representing your workspace’s floorplan. It means that employees can: 

  • Filter and locate areas with high activity in the office, such as meeting rooms, desks, and delivery areas.
  • See key points of interest, such as emergency exits and first aid stations. 
  • Find where coworkers are sitting and view their schedules. 
  • Monitor visitor areas, offering real-time updates on visitor traffic and upcoming guest arrivals.

By providing employees with a user-friendly tool for navigating the workspace, businesses can optimize resource utilization and foster a more connected and purposeful work environment. The integration of real-time data into spatial dynamics supports operational efficiency and enhances the overall workplace experience for employees and visitors alike.

To design a workplace where people want to be, leaders need to bring everyone together with intention and enable employees to easily find what they need to be productive. Technology that enhances the employee experience can make all the difference in RTO plans and make the workplace a more community-oriented place. Knowing where to go and who to meet helps people plan for productive days in the office. – Cormac Twomey, Chief Technology at Envoy

Workplace Trend: Companies will need to redesign their offices with security in mind

Organizations today are facing more stringent industry standards, government mandates, and compliance regulations when it comes to protecting the workplace–and it’s only going to get stricter. With the growing volume of people, data, and equipment to protect, companies today are falling behind in their current security practices.

In fact, in our recent workplace security whitepaper, our data shows that 41% of companies know that protecting their workplace will only get more challenging in the coming years. What’s more, 50% of companies have experienced between 1-5 security incidents in the last year.

To navigate these challenges, companies will need to redesign their physical workplace. That means modernizing your processes to be streamlined and scalable. It also means converging the physical and digital worlds together. 

“To survive in 2024, companies will need to redesign their physical workplace with a modern approach and with security in mind. A platform that streamlines safety and security—visitor management, compliance practices, emergency notifications, facility protection and management—is critical to safeguarding the workplace and ensuring companies are compliant.” – Larry Gadea, CEO at Envoy

Streamline security with ID verification

Not verifying people who enter your workplace puts your whole company at risk. This is why we’ve significantly enhanced our ID scanning feature, which now makes the visitor check-in process smoother and more secure. Here's the breakdown of how it works:

  • When a visitor scans their ID, the Envoy system auto-fills the relevant sign-in fields with information extracted from their ID. 
  • For administrators, there is a high level of customization available. You have the flexibility to decide which pieces of visitor ID information should correspond to specific sign-in fields in the Envoy system.
  • In line with strict privacy standards, we do not store scanned ID images by default. Only the verification status is retained, adhering to Envoy's established data retention policies for visitor registration. However, if needed, customers can choose to store ID images for a designated time frame in case of an audit or security breach.

This streamlined ID verification process not only enhances the efficiency of visitor check-ins but also bolsters the overall security of your workplace, saving everyone a ton of time.

Emergency notifications

Organizations today are navigating more than just the strict demands of industry standards and government regulations. More visitors and diverse use of workspaces mean increased potential for security issues. To tackle these challenges, organizations must upgrade their security strategies. 

Whether it’s implementing advanced entry systems, protecting private information, or ensuring emergency protocols, these measures are vital for safeguarding against a range of security threats and breaches.

The latest addition to the Envoy Workplace Platform includes our new emergency notifications system. This system can pull from real-time workplace data, so leaders can send tailored messages to employees and visitors in the office when an emergency occurs. You can send alerts through multiple channels including SMS, push notifications, and email. This multi-channel approach ensures that all relevant individuals are reached–whether it's people who have already checked in, those scheduled to be in the office, or even visitors in your workplace.

As we look ahead , businesses across all industries will face a common challenge: doing more with less. As budget cuts continue, it becomes a critical time for adaptation and innovation. 

The increasing adoption of RTO strategies, coupled with the integration of automation and AI in daily operations, signifies a pivotal shift in workplace dynamics. Companies today must modernize and learn to strategically utilize their workplace data if they have a chance of navigating these changing times effectively. 

“Remember, great achievements are rarely the work of a single individual. It takes a collective, synergized effort to build something monumental.” – Larry Gadea, CEO at Envoy

Want to learn more about Envoy Workplace and how an all-in-one solution can transform your workplace? Read more here.


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Senior Content Marketing Manager

Amy is a content creator and storyteller at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people will love. Outside of work, you can usually find Amy exploring new places, planning her next trip, or enjoying a coffee and croissant in her favorite cafe.

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