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Flexible Work Boosts Employee Health; Hybrid Offices Aren't Any Smaller

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Image: Alexey Yaremenko - Alamy Stock Vector
Welcome to the WorkSpace Connect News Wrap, where we'll feature news briefs relevant to the modern workplace and the people responsible for making it work. This edition: An office equipment maker found health benefits for remote working; Harvard Business Review found offices aren't shrinking even if fewer people are in them.
Ergotron Finds Flexible Work Improves Employee Wellness, Morale
Office equipment maker Ergotron reports that a majority of hybrid-working employees report significant physical and mental health benefits since switching from an office-based working environment. The findings are part of a study the company conducted, “The Evolving Office: Empower Employees to Work Vibrantly in 2022.” Among the results, the 1,000 respondents reported:
  • 75% of respondents have a more active workstyle when working remotely.
  • 88% of respondents said the ability to decide whether to work in an office or at home increased their job satisfaction.
  • 66% of respondents think work-life balance is vital in improving company culture in a post-pandemic environment.
Ergotron also found one health-denting habit from remote work: the company says survey respondents spent five out of eight working hours every day in a seated position.
Harvard Business Review: Fewer Workers in the Office Doesn't Mean Less Office Space
The publication has been conducting monthly surveys of 5,000 workers and 500 companies and found that despite the "emerging norm" of a hybrid work week that cuts in-office time by 30%, companies are not scaling back their real estate holdings proportionally. Harvard Business Review survey data found an average real estate reduction of 1%-2%.
The reasons for this gap between workers' in-office time and the reduction of office space include: workers' persistent dislike of high-density offices now that a risk of infection is top of mind, and the best way to decrease density is just to have fewer people in the same-sized office; a hybrid office model where most workers remain home on Mondays and Fridays, thus not affording a work model where a reduced workforce could require less space; a need to make the office as inviting as possible due to the ongoing talent shortage, and cramped offices don't attract people who want to work in more social spaces configured for hybrid work.