Companies over-index on instinct over evidence for office returns

July 2021

  • As companies evaluate returning to workplaces, most lack the tools to manage the process.
  • New research shows that the majority of companies rely on manual surveys (68%) and employee feedback (58%) to manage office space. 
  • Over one-fifth of companies rely on senior leadership’s whims to make critical office decisions.
The majority of companies are relying on human instinct to manage office returns, according to new findings from OpenSensors, a technology company that provides data driven workplace transformation solutions.
Less than half of companies were using data from booking systems (46% and occupancy data - 44%). While over one in five companies relied only on feedback from senior leadership teams to make decisions.
Research has shown that temperature, humidity and occupancy are critical factors for reducing virus transmission and ensuring a safe office.
While nearly 70% measure temperature, 55% measure humidity and less than half measure particulate matter, which is crucial for monitoring air quality.
Pre-COVID19, only 35% of offices made improvements to ventilation, with companies investing more in increasing collaboration zones, desk space, meeting rooms and office decor. 
Yodit Stanton, CEO and Founder of OpenSensors, commented:
“Returning to the office and changing routines can be emotionally fraught for employers and employees alike. Yet many employers are limited in the tools and information they are using to make decisions on how to manage this.
Companies need to consider office conditions to support employee wellbeing. Too many companies are relying only on manual surveys and employee feedback to make decisions. Listening to your employees is critical, yet there needs to be evidence to assure them that you are supporting a safe return in the right environment.”
The research also indicated that fewer companies than expected are reducing office space, while nearly half (47%) expected companies’ real estate portfolios to change.

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