Nearly half of employees still assigned to same place as the traditional office clings on

The worry over a loss in productivity when people are able to work anywhere is entirely unfounded, and what we once called “alternative”, we have come to call current and future workplace strategies, a new report claims. Yet the new study, ‘The Once Alternative Workplace Strategies’, which was conducted and released by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics and Haworth Inc, found that nearly half of employees are still permanently assigned to one space; with no change since 2008. The research pinpoints five leading trends within today’s workplaces and compares the findings to the initial research from more than a decade ago. Some of the other main findings in the 2018 survey include the fact that people impacts, rather than cost savings, are now the primary measure of success. Internal mobility has more than doubled since 2008 while external mobility (working at home, coworking places, outside the office) has remained flat. It also found that employee involvement in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of workplace change programs has decreased significantly.

Chris Hood, research lead and one of the directors at Advanced Workplace Associates: “Unfortunately, the results of this global study demonstrate that a high percentage of companies still see this as a real estate initiative and not the opportunity to reinvent their businesses in deeper and more transformational ways. Workplace innovation is a litmus test for management quality and leadership. This isn’t about real estate, it’s actually about people and business outcomes.”

The study, which was supported by the IFMA Workplace Evolutionaries, surveyed 130 organisations representing over 2.3m employees globally and found that ‘alternative workplace’ programmes or practices can be defined as ‘the combination of non-traditional work practices, settings and locations that supplement or replace traditional offices’. While some may argue that these styles are no longer ‘alternative’ and are becoming increasingly more common, the 10-year study honoured the original phrasing to best ensure continuity.