WX trends: Hybrid work and office perks that matter

WX trends: Hybrid work and office perks that matter

Our workplace experience (WX) trends series looks at recent news articles, videos, social media posts and thought leadership pieces on workplace experience. You’ll also hear from our experts on what’s trending.

This week in WX trends, we’re looking at how the hybrid model is a must for many workers. Next, we’ll explore why some businesses are adopting a four-day workweek. Finally, we’ll learn about “office peacocking” and why it’s popular again.

Want workers back in the office? Make it worth their while.

Don’t want to spend any more time in the office than you already do? Join the chorus.
A recent poll by recruitment agency Robert Walters Inc. found that 46% of Canada’s white-collar workers would look for the exit if they were asked to spend more time at work. The tug-of-war between employers and employees since the pandemic is a matter of employee retention, according to a story in the Financial Post.

“The survey highlighted the ability to do hybrid work as one of the top three benefits professionals now look for, regardless of the field,” according to the story.

As more and more workers return to the office post-pandemic, it’s essential to listen to their feedback on what employers can do better, says Tony DiBenedetto, CEO of Appspace.

“With employees wanting more flexibility and autonomy, organizations need to make sure the workplace experience meets these evolving expectations,” says DiBenedetto.

Honoring employees’ preferences leaves employers with a challenging task ahead. The office space must be as good as – or even better than – existing WFH arrangements.

Employers wanting return-to-office (RTO) must ensure the experience (including the dreaded commute) is worthwhile, such as providing employees easy access to helpful technology, rather than flashy in-office perks, according to the 2024 Workplace experience trends & insights report.

Four day workweek to fight fatigue?

Do you dream of shortening your workweek to four days instead of five? A recent survey of CEOs by KPMG found that nearly one-third (30%) of large U.S. companies are exploring the trend that has been gaining steam, according to a CNN story.

Citing worker burnout, some businesses are looking to adopt a shorter workweek as a means to retain top talent in a competitive job market.

It may not be possible in every field – and wide adoption might be years away – but technology such as AI may assist in making it a reality.

“The KPMG survey found that 61% of U.S. CEOs are encouraging employees to use generative AI to automate mundane tasks to relieve stress and manage their workloads,” according to the story.

The smarter AI gets, the more workers will be able to take off their plates, says Thomas Philippart de Foy, Chief Product Officer at Appspace.

“When used responsibly, the technology can be a great benefit.”

Perks too good to pass on

Comfortable couches, free snacks and a high-end coffee machine.

Did your office get an upgrade recently? It might be your employer trying to lure you back into the office. While not new, the trend of “office peacocking” has come back in 2024 as a way for businesses to entice employees after enforcing return-to-work (RTO) policies following the pandemic, according to a Forbes story.

While a fancy office is nice to have, the Owl Labs 2023 State of Hybrid Work report found what really matters to hybrid employees: having commuting costs covered, more privacy at the office and knowing when other staff members are going to be there.

Workplaces are still working out how they can create an optimal in-office experience, says DiBenedetto. “The most important thing is to engage employees and get their feedback.”

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