Appspace Releases Findings of 2024 Workplace Experience Trends & Insights Report

Appspace 2024Trends and insights report page 5 resized Medium

TAMPA, FL – April 10, 2024 – Nearly 60% of employees received some form of return-to-office mandate in 2023, with the percentage of fully remote employees dropping to 33% last year (from 44% in 2022). Yet, more than half (54%) of employees surveyed in the Appspace 2024 Workplace Experience Trends & Insights Report agree that going to the office “feels like a waste of time,” with many respondents noting their office space isn’t conducive to working productively and not enough colleagues are there to foster collaboration.

One trend stemming from the return-to-office (RTO) movement is the collective desire for a “purposeful consumption of the office”– the idea that employees want a good reason to head to the office other than mandates and surface-level incentives.

The Appspace 2024 Workplace Experience Trends and Insights Report examines how employees define their workplace experience today, four-plus years after many organizations moved to remote and hybrid working models because of the pandemic. The report, released today, also addresses how employees’ views on workplace models have shifted in recent years and whether organizations are maximizing technology to increase productivity and collaboration – regardless of where employees work.

As technology use is ever-present in employees’ personal lives, employees expect their workplace tools to evolve in tandem. In sum, the bar for “good” workplace technology is much higher than it was previously.

This may explain why respondents are becoming less satisfied with their workplace tech year-over-year. The percentage of employees who answered “I am completely satisfied with my company’s workplace tools and technologies” declined in the last three years, with 39% responding “yes” in 2021, 33% in 2022, and 29% in 2023.

When it comes to generational views, the Appspace research found that Generation Z is most in favor of RTO (77%), while millennials are the least in favor (59%). Across all generations, 73% of respondents agree with the statement, “my employer could do more to improve the in-office experience.”

Employees who oppose going into the office (detractors) prefer remote work flexibility and dislike long commutes. They also point to the costs of commuting and meals associated with in-office work. Rounding out the list of reasons they oppose going to the office are:

* The space is not conducive to working productively
* Not enough colleagues are also in the office
* Concerns about health and safety
* Insufficient technology

Different Workplace Views, Similar Goals
The return-to-office supporters have a different view on how they work best. RTO supporters cite various reasons for wanting to work in the office, including but not limited to missing the social aspect of the office, the office provides a clear separation between work and home life and improved access to resources and amenities. Some even responded that they enjoy the commute.

According to the report, tech remains the biggest hurdle, across all work models. Remote, hybrid, and in-person employees’ top challenges in 2023 were identical: 1) tech issues, 2) collaboration, and 3) communication. A vast majority (84%) of respondents also believe their organizations can seize opportunities to leverage AI.

“While there’s no consensus on return-to-office mandates, employees and managers alike share a common desire for enhanced and simple workplace connections, whether collaboration takes place in person, remotely, or hybrid,” says Appspace CEO, Tony DiBenedetto. “Organizations can seize this moment to deliver the best workplace experience possible with consumer-like technology that mirrors the ease employees expect and have grown accustomed to in their personal lives.”

Sustainability Takes Center Stage
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are growing in importance for many employees. Seventy-two percent of all respondents said a company’s ESG strategy is very or somewhat important to them, with only 8% stating it’s entirely unimportant to them. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of in-office and hybrid respondents agree with the statement, “I care about my office’s energy consumption habits.”

When able to select from several ESG initiatives they wished their organization supported, respondents answered accordingly:
* Reduce the number of days employees need to come into the office via a digital employee hub (40%)
* Automatically adjust energy consumption (e.g., turn lights off in unoccupied space (38%)
* Reduce the organization’s corporate carbon footprint (36%)
* Deliver mindful company content and messaging that supports employee wellbeing and inclusivity (36%)
* Monitor air quality and occupancy to ensure healthy and safe environments (30%)
* Eliminate paper with digital-only/paper-free reception (24%)

“Employees are becoming more aware and concerned about the environmental-related habits of their office spaces,” says Mike Hicks, Chief Marketing Officer at Appspace. “As organizations formalize and refine their return-to-office and hybrid policies, they can factor in their ESG performance with technology that addresses the dual goals of workplace engagement and sustainability in ways that deliver better productivity and employee satisfaction.”