Office Workers Want a Hybrid Model Going Forward

DALLAS—Gensler’s Research Institute conducted an anonymous online survey among more than 2,300 US workers this past summer to understand where and how the future workplace will operate. This survey’s goal was to shed light on the continuing role of the physical workplace in a post-COVID future.

Respondents were required to be working full time for a company, organization or firm of 100 or more people, and have worked in an office environment prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, respondents were evenly distributed across 10 industries and represented a wide range of seniority levels, roles, ages and US geographies.

The Results:

  • US workers want to return to the workplace while keeping the benefits of flexibility and privacy gained while working from home.
  • Most US workers would still prefer to work from the office for most of a normal week, but they’ll bring new expectations around flexibility, privacy and space sharing as they return.
  • Only 19% of US workers want to work from home full time. More than half (52%) would prefer a hybrid of working from the office and home.

So what does this mean for the future of work and the workplace?

“As workers think about the future of the physical workplace they want to return to, many or 47% are asking for more access to privacy in the workplace than they had in their workplace pre-pandemic. Most or 61% would prioritize an assigned seat over greater flexibility to work remotely, which means designing flexible solutions with employees’ concerns about desk sharing in mind,” Janet Pogue McLaurin, Gensler’s global workplace research leader, tells “Most workers would prefer a hybrid work model in the future, but with significant variations by industry. Technology, financial and management advisory workers are most likely to want to work full time at home, while consumer goods, science and government workers are most likely to want to be full time in the office.”

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