Saturday 13th May 2023

With over 1.2 billion full time jobs globally, spending 40 hours a week or more in an office or hybrid work environment is worth examining. So much has changed in the workplace over the last few years – more remote and hybrid work from home models have arisen – that it’s not as simple anymore to know how to navigate the workplace.
Work and life balance is becoming more and more important to employees at all levels and job categories. Employee well-being and mental health have become front and center issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. So has employee and company support for the sustainability of your business.

Here are some of the most interesting and fun facts about work productivity, working from home, and the latest workplace trends – including psychological facts about work.

1. The average worker spends over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, so finding job and workplace satisfaction is important.

It’s true. Workers spend over 90,000 hours of their lives on the job.

“The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, so it’s no surprise that job satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, can significantly affect your life,” says consulting firm McKinsey.
How do you find job satisfaction and happiness at work? Annie McKee, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and author of “How to Be Happy at Work” has studied this and reports there is a formula:

Career happiness = (Freedom + Challenge + Balance – Stress) x Meaning

“Employers are waking up to the fact that contented employees are linked to productivity and performance. More importantly though, we are seeing the connection for ourselves between our career and our mental health,” says career coach Sarah Archer in the post “There IS a Formula for Happiness at Work.”

2. Dress code and workplace productivity are not mutually exclusive: 61% of employees are more productive when the dress code is more casual.

Back in 2018, many businesses embraced a casual Friday dress code, and with good reason. Research had shown that employees work more effectively if they’re allowed to dress in a way that makes them more comfortable.

It appears this trend took hold – especially during the pandemic when working from home, employee retention, and psychological safety became business priorities. But today, some organizations may now be struggling to balance employee’s sense of what is acceptable to customers and a company’s values.

“It is important that employers adapt to the shift toward hybrid work, while still ensuring that employees present a clean, neat and professional appearance that is acceptable to clients and reflects the company’s image,” explains Rudi Julius, an attorney with Thompson Hine, in the SHRM article “Dress Codes Evolve Following Pandemic.

Further readingDoes Your Dress Code Affect Workplace Productivity?

3. Video conferencing and video meetings are here to stay: Video calls on Microsoft Teams have increased 1000% since the pandemic.

Video meetings and collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams are now a major part of our daily work life in hybrid environments. With over 280 million users, Microsoft Teams helps employees reach global colleagues in ways previously impossible without a hefty airfare.

And as organizations look to increase collaboration and strengthen relationships, the video meetings are an obvious choice. Between online chat, file sharing, integration with calendars, and the full suite of office tools that everyone uses every day, it’s not surprising how widespread adoption has become.

Go deeper: Check out “By the numbers: A close look at Microsoft Teams adoption”.

4. Activity based working (ABW) boosts employee workplace satisfaction (+17%) and productivity (+13%).

What’s ABW? A way of working that gives employees access to many different types of workspaces (and technologies) to use and reserve for specific activities, such as structured meetings, informal conversations, and individual, private work that may require quiet areas.

With hybrid work models, ABW allows companies to move toward a more shared workspace environment where 1:1 desk space is no longer necessary, as long as you have an organized system such as desk booking, room booking, and other workspace reservation.

Research by Veldhoen + Company found a 17% increase in workplace satisfaction after companies transitioned to activity-based working. Employees are also more productive individually and collectively. The same survey found activity-based working also increases individual productivity by 13% and team productivity by 8%.

5. Hybrid work in the US increased to 55% of remote-capable workers by the end of 2022.

According to Gallup, full time on-site work from an office “is expected to remain a relic of the past with only two in 10 remote-capable employees currently working entirely on-site and about the same number expecting to be entirely on-site in the future — down from a whopping 60% in 2019.”

Only 6% want to work entirely on-site in the future. What does it mean if more than 90% of 70 million employees state they prefer not to come back to an office? Hybrid is here.

“Employees who don’t work in their preferred location have significantly lower employee engagement, alongside higher burnout and desire to quit,” finds Gallup. “They simply do not feel well-positioned to do their best work or live their best life.”

6. Robotics, automation, AI in the workplace: By 2025, machines will create 97 million new roles.

Robots and automated functions are becoming a regular feature of the workplace, as they take over the more mundane, but necessary responsibilities and manual tasks for us. Chatbots, learning language models (LLM) such as ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence, and systems that help increase the automation of processes, including robotic processing assistants (RPA), are becoming commonplace.

It looks like robotics and AI are the future for many of us, but won’t we still require real human interaction, not to mention the type of critical thinking and feeling that only a human is capable of? Yes.

Human fears of being replaced by automated work processes dates to the early 1800s, but it’s not necessarily the reality. Much of robotics and the use of automation will require human initiative, interaction, and maintenance.

“We expect novel technologies to be adopted without considering all of the relevant contextual impediments such as cultural, economic, and government arrangements that support the manufacturing, sale, and use of the technology,” says BYU sociology professor Eric Dahlin.

Dahlin’s research found that only 14% of workers say they’ve seen their job replaced by a robot. But those who have experienced job displacement due to a robot overstate the effect of robots taking jobs from humans by about three times.

7. Remote working trends in the US in 2023: 12% of workers are fully remote and 28% are hybrid.

These are monthly statistical samples of 10,000 US workers conducted by economists at Stanford University and the University of Chicago. It’s called the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes and began in 2020.

The research, which is focused on tracking the trends of working from home, finds working from home is more common in major cities than in smaller cities and towns. It also finds employers offer fewer fully remote jobs and more fully onsite jobs than employees want.

Stanford reports working from home is most prevalent in the tech, finance, and professional and business services sectors. Interestingly, workers spend more of their workday in formal training and professional development when they came into work.

8. Email volume: 347.3 billion emails are sent each day across the globe – with more on the way.

That’s an 4.2% increase from 2022 when 333.2 billion were sent each day. What’s more, the number of emails sent per day is expected to increase to 376 billion emails by 2025. That’s nearly 13% growth, according to Zippia.

The average worker gets an average of 121 emails per day and sends nearly 40 on their own. We all know what it’s like to be snowed under with emails, but are they becoming more of an interruption than a helpful facet of the workplace?

According to research, we’re being interrupted at work once every 8 minutes, so no wonder so many of us are looking for new ways to ramp up our levels of productivity.

Further reading: The hidden cost of workplace interruptions

9. Nearly 90% of workers are burned out on online chat and email inbox volume.

A survey by Wakefield Research found that an overwhelming majority of office workers (89%) said daily work tasks “such as sorting through an inbox of unopened emails or navigating incoming Slack or Teams messages is one of the most unpleasant parts of working remotely.”

“When we hit information overload, it decreases our productivity and ability to make decisions—often referred to as executive functioning,” says Carla Bevins, a professor of business communications at Carnegie Mellon University, according to Forbes.

In the same study, 51% of employees 40 and under stated they would consider leaving their job because of too much email, Slack, and Teams messages.

10. 42% of Millennials would only work for a company that makes sustainability a priority.

According to Venture Beat, more than a third of employees (35%) think instituting sustainability practices at work would boost productivity rates, position a company as a leader (31%), and open additional opportunities for innovation (37%). And from a generational perspective: 42% of Millennials, 30% of Gen-X, and 21% of Boomers would only work for an employer that prioritizes sustainability.

Eptura recently spoke with long-time industry leader and IFMA Fellow, Paul Doherty in our Asset Champion podcast. We asked him what asset management and facility management leaders should focus on today.

“People, period,” said Doherty. “Everything else I’m going to say doesn’t matter. It’s your people… A lot of this has to do with sustainability. And sustainability is not just about the environment. It’s about sustainable mental health. It’s about sustainable economics.”

To Doherty, sustainability is a mindset that reinforces the ideas of well-being in the totality of our work and lives. But there are also real business benefits to designing sustainability into your workplace experience today, such as lowered energy cost, employee satisfaction, and talent attraction.

11. 85% of people who are now hybrid working want to continue with this model in the future.

A major reason that hybrid working is proving popular in the long-term is because of the benefits it provides employees in when it comes to work/life balance. Reduction in time spent commuting and better management of home life were identified by our research as the two most commonly cited benefits of hybrid working.

7 in 10 Employees agree that hybrid working shows their company cares about employee emotional and mental well-being. .At the same time, the option of hybrid work has a positive impact on how much employees feel that their mental and emotional well-being is valued by their employers. While 69% of employees agree that hybrid working shows that employers are taking well-being into consideration, this figure rises to 76% among those who are hybrid working already.


12. 45% of US employees see the improved ability to meet with colleagues, clients, vendors as a reason to go to the office.

We commissioned a global survey of 6,000 workplace leaders and employees. These statistics about how US employees see the office now grabbed our attention:
• 45% see the improved ability to meet with colleagues, clients, vendors
• 36% believe coming into the office helps improves company culture
• 35% say they look to the office for a productive, well-equipped environment
• 32% feel coming to the office helps with work/life balance

Human connection tops everything. And right behind that, look at the value the office plays in company culture — which is absolutely driven by peer-to-peer human connection. There’s no workplace culture without people creating and nurturing it.

Go deeper with Eptura’s “2023 Workplace Predictions: 5 Worktech Trends to Watch.”

Research report: Attitudes to Hybrid Working.

Attitudes to Hybrid Working Report

The impact of hybrid work on employees and employers.

Download our research to get the full picture.

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