Image courtesy Hana

Following a shift to work-from-home routines, U.S. office workers are ready to embrace permanent flexible schedules as the new workplace norm.

A majority of employees said they want to work exclusively from home or in a flexible arrangement combining home and office work, according to the survey conducted by CBRE’s Hana subsidiary.

“Employees are looking to the office as a place to meaningfully connect with colleagues, yet desire more flexible work benefits,” Andrew Kupiec, CEO of Hana, said in a statement.

A majority of respondents said they appreciate saving money and not having to commute to the office, and 43 percent cited more control over their work schedule.

Top drawbacks of working from home included a lack of work-personal life separation, distractions and difficulties collaborating virtually.

At the same time, 92 percent said they appreciate aspects of office life including interacting with colleagues and in-person meetings and collaborations. There was less enthusiasm for social activities such as fitness classes and games, indicating that amenity spaces that have become popular in many offices in recent years may lose favor.

Employers are reexamining their long-term space needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in a question that has major implications for the future of the office market.

Gov. Charlie Baker is allowing offices statewide to reopen on May 25 except in Boston, where they would reopen June 1, at 25 percent of building occupancy. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh expressed reservations about the 25 percent threshold this week, and is planning to release his own set of guidelines within a week.

The survey conducted April 13-15 by The Harris Poll comprised more than 1,000 office workers. Hana partners with landlords on flexible workspace options including office suites, conference rooms, event space and coworking space.

Employees Want Flex Office Arrangements to Stay, Survey Finds

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min