Welcome: A note from Sprinklr's Global Head of Workplace

As workplace managers, we spent much of the past 24 months in reactionary mode due to the pandemic. We responded to unprecedented circumstances and navigated a world full of uncertainties. We partnered with HR, Finance, Operations, IT, and Security to create return-to-work plans—only to halt, change, and start those plans over again.

During this time, we looked to our employees to understand their needs. We surveyed them, held town halls, and kept in constant communication. We also looked to each other for guidance. We joined webinars to understand new mandates, work trends, and workplace attendance patterns. These exchanges have made one thing very clear: a revolution is happening in the world of work. How we work is being challenged.

Until the pandemic hit, work was, for the most part, anchored to the workplace. Almost overnight, companies around the world went remote. Going through both extremes revealed that where and how we work can be flexible. We’ve learned that work does not have to be binary, happening either at the office or remote only. It can be flexible. In fact, employees expect it to be.

As workplace managers, our roles are rooted in the physical workplace. These days, we can’t talk about work without hearing questions like, Do we still need offices? Does the workplace still matter? The answer to both questions is “yes.”

Especially now, the workplace is more than where work gets done. Workplaces can foster connections and help us move past dispersed and isolated times. Yes, employees can meet with each other over the internet. However, it’s the promise of seeing each other again, in person, that can urge them to forge more meaningful relationships. Not to mention, building connections in the workplace can fortify their sense of communal purpose and joy.

Looking into the future with optimism, we will soon have fewer restrictions and health concerns. Although impacted by COVID variants, 2021 has shown a significant increase in people choosing to work on-site. Creating space for employees to come together to meet, build community, and foster deeper connections is more critical than ever. That’s what will make people choose the workplace. That’s what we workplace managers must aspire to build.

Tony Vargas
Global Head of Workplace, Sprinklr

Hi there. Welcome to At Work: the 2022 workplace trends report, created to give workplace teams an up-to-date view of the state of the physical workplace.

We surveyed employees, employers, and workplace professionals to learn what they think and how they feel about trends at work. We also analyzed Envoy’s proprietary platform data, looking at more than 27 million workplace entries around the globe, as well as millions of meeting room and desk bookings. Finally, we conducted one-on-one interviews with workplace leaders, many of whom you’ll hear from in this report. If you took our survey, spoke with us, or used Envoy’s products at your own workplace, thank you for helping us make At Work happen.

Despite the changes the workplace has undergone over the past year, its role is more important than ever. Workplace leaders like yourself will be critical to leading your organization through future changes, and we hope this report will play a role in your success.

On a tight schedule?
Check out the highlights

If you can’t read the full report now, no worries! Here are some can’t-miss takeaways:

Envoy recorded more than 27 million workplace entries around the globe in 2021. Workplace traffic increased more than 300% since the lockdown lows of May 2020.
New York saw more foot traffic than any other US city. Other top cities include Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
60% of employee traffic came in the middle of the week. Tuesday and Wednesday were the most popular days to go into the workplace. Friday was the least popular.
Engineering teams booked the most hot desks with 25% of total bookings. Other top teams in the workplace include IT and Finance—22% and 19% of bookings, respectively.
The majority of organizations (58%) invested more in the workplace in 2021 compared to 2020. Only 19% invested less and 23% spent the same amount.
40% of companies invested more in conferencing technology. 30% invested more in visitor management solutions and 25% invested more in physical security technologies.
More than a third of workplace leaders (35%) want their organizations to invest more in on-site events and programs. 24% said food and beverages programs.
Most workplace leaders (76%) said their job success is measured by employee satisfaction. Other top performance success indicators: keeping the workplace safe (34%) and remaining CDC compliant (27%).
Health checks grew in popularity. Envoy saw employees submit about 2.5X the number of health checks in November 2021 compared to the start of the year.


Before we dive in, we want you to get to know the folks who made At Work possible. Meet the 400 survey participants located all around the globe, with the majority in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Most respondents have workplace and facilities titles. They report to a wide variety of positions—from VP of Information Technology to Head of Global Facilities. Their teams are similarly diverse; some folks sit on global workplace teams and others single-handedly run their organization’s facilities. The vast majority of respondents, however, work on a team of more than 10 employees.

Workplace roles

Of the 400 survey respondents, 52% have workplace or facilities titles. Other titles include IT (31%), HR (9%), and security (8%). As the collaboration between IT, HR, security, and workplace teams has become more of a necessity, we felt hearing from folks in each of these functions would paint a more accurate picture of today’s workplace.

Team size

The majority of people surveyed (54%) sit on teams of more than 10 people. Here’s how team size shakes out for other respondents: 20% are on teams with 2-4 employees. 15% are on teams with 5-7 employees. 7% are on teams with 8-10 employees. 3% are flying solo.


Respondents work at organizations of all sizes, from small startups to enterprises with physical workplaces around the world. They represent all sorts of industries, too. Here’s a small portion of the organizations that participated in this report.

What’s going on with workplace traffic?

The workplace. It’s always been a space for work. But for many, it’s more than that. The workplace is where people come together to meet, ideate, create, and solve problems. It’s where employees can learn more about coworkers than what you can find in their Slack profiles. It’s also where people can escape their home offices to meet with others in person or do heads-down work.

In this section, we analyzed Envoy’s employee and visitors sign-in data to understand workplace foot traffic trends from January-December 2021.1 As you’ll see, after working remotely during the pandemic, people came back on-site in waves. While there were significant increases in traffic, there were also lulls—during the holidays and when COVID case numbers spiked.

1. Unless otherwise stated, workplace traffic includes employee and visitor sign-ins to Envoy from 14,000+ locations globally.

The big picture: How did traffic fluctuate throughout the last year?

Looking at 2021 data alone doesn’t tell the full story on workplace traffic growth, so we’ve zoomed out to get a better look. In this view, you can see exactly when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Lockdowns and work-from-home measures nearly shut down workplaces around the globe. Visitor traffic to the workplace fell dramatically from January to March 2020.

The story gets interesting in May when both employees and visitors began using Envoy to safely enter the workplace. Since May 2020, workplace traffic grew more than 300%. Now let’s take a closer look at 2021, dive into the traffic trends, and discuss what might have caused them.

2021 workplace traffic

Envoy recorded more than 27 million workplace entries around the globe in 2021. In the chart above, you can see how workplace traffic grew throughout the year.

Before Thanksgiving, traffic to the workplace grew 87% from where it was back in January 2021. In fact, looking at the whole year—inclusive of holidays and the impact of the Omicron variant—traffic was 41% higher on average than it was at the start of the year​​.

How successful has the return-to-office been?

Workplace leaders put a lot of work into their return-to-office plans. Has it paid off? According to employee foot traffic trends, yes! Not only did employee foot traffic increase throughout the year, so did the number of employees who worked on-site multiple times a month.

In an August 2021 survey, we learned that employees saw more value in the workplace the longer they had been back.

Once they got over the initial hurdle of having a new routine, the majority of employees (62%) actually preferred to work mostly on-site.

What about the folks who only worked on-site once in a single month, you ask? These folks, who represent less than a third of workplace foot traffic, may have been “trying out” the return, or meeting their coworkers in-person for a special event.

How far in advance did employees schedule to go into the workplace?

Earlier in 2021, employees used the Envoy app to schedule a day in the office just hours in advance. Toward the end of the year, they scheduled as many as three days (95 hours) in advance. This could be due to people planning their holiday time or hybrid workweek and thinking further out about when they were going to be on-site. Or, since some organizations set workplace capacity limits, employees may have wanted to be sure they had a spot in the office.

As foot traffic increased, employees became more proactive about securing

their spots ahead of time. This goes to show that employees didn’t want any old desk in the workplace—they wanted the right desk.

For some folks, the “right” desk was next to teammates or friends so they could socialize, for others it’s next to a co-worker with whom they wanted to collaborate. In a February 2021 survey we learned that one of the top factors that influenced when employees scheduled to work on-site was who else planned to be at the workplace that day (37%).

Which US cities saw the highest foot traffic growth?

Folks in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. headed back to the workplace in droves. Toward the end of 2021, New York pulled away from other top metros, with more than 6X the foot traffic compared to May 2020. There are likely many factors that drove New York’s big return, including local

COVID safety mandates, school reopenings, and a decline in Delta variant case numbers.Interested in seeing what workplace traffic looks like in a city near you? We update the return-to-work index each month with the latest workplace foot traffic trends across the country.  Bookmark it here!

How did workplace traffic differ by company size?

No matter the size, companies saw an increase in foot traffic across the board in 2021. Smaller companies saw their biggest jump in foot traffic around May when the vaccination rollout really gained momentum. Companies with 51-250 employees saw a 62% increase, while companies with 50 employees or fewer saw a 32% increase by May.

“People coming into the workplace are much more intentional now. It’s no longer employees coming in because they have to be there. Now, people come in for special events or to enjoy our beautiful office spaces. Not to brag but our offices are really pretty! They’re cool spaces filled with beautiful plants and natural light. People have said it feels so good for them to be back and be around other human beings.”

​​Kaitlin Lieck

Center Operations Associate
at Parsley Health

Midsize (251-1,500 employees) and enterprise companies (1,501 employees or more) tended to see larger gains, later in the year. These companies saw a 110% increase in foot traffic in November and December since the start of 2021. One explanation for the increase in traffic for larger companies is having to implement more formal return-to-office policies, bringing people back in stages.

Which industries saw the most and least folks work on-site?

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Software and hardware companies


Automotive and media companies


Insurance companies
and banks

These industries above saw the highest percentage increase in foot traffic since January 2021.


Companies that produce packaging and paper products


Renewable energy companies

Telecom services

Companies that provide wireless telecoms services

On the flip side, these industries above had the least amount of traffic growth since January 2021.

Notice that even in the industries that saw the least growth, traffic to the workplace still grew significantly since the start of the year. On average, organizations in these industries saw a 36% growth in traffic in 2021.

What were the most popular days to go into the workplace?

We looked into when folks were going into the workplace and learned that Tuesday and Wednesday were the most popular days. On average, nearly 60% of all employee traffic came in the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday). Friday was the least popular day.

Traffic patterns also show that employees continue to embrace hybrid work and come into the workplace for part of the week. We suspect many employees use the middle of the week to collaborate with colleagues on-site and use Monday and Friday for heads-down remote work.

At Carta, we’re moving to a hybrid model where we will be expecting people to work in the office three days a week and remotely two days a week.”

Oliver Marin

Office Manager at Carta

How did folks use the workplace

No two workplaces are the same. They support different employees who have unique needs, projects, and goals. Regardless, each workplace is a space for people to come together and get work done. In this section, we looked at Envoy Desks, Rooms, and Deliveries data in 2021 to explore how employees and teams used the workplace to meet and be productive.