Research Finds 72% of Companies (Globally) Have Gone Back to Physical Offices

Photo Credits - Nastuh Abootalebi via Unsplash

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world witnessed a significant shift towards remote work as companies rapidly adopted flexible work arrangements to ensure business continuity and the safety of their employees. However, a recent research report titled “Returning for Good: A Global Perspective on the Future of Work” conducted by Unispace sheds light on a remarkable trend. According to the report, an astounding 72% of companies globally have returned to physical offices, signalling a gradual shift away from remote work and a re-emergence of the workplace.

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Physical Offices

The Unispace report reveals a clear inclination among businesses to revert to physical office spaces as economies stabilize and vaccination campaigns progress worldwide. Companies recognize the importance of in-person collaboration, creativity, and social interaction, which are often hindered in a remote work environment. The survey, conducted across multiple industries and regions, sheds light on the factors driving this significant transition.

Enhanced Collaboration and Creativity

The Unispace report supports the notion that physical offices foster enhanced collaboration and creativity. According to the report, 70% of companies globally have mandated a return to the office, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face interactions in driving innovation and problem-solving. In-person collaboration provides opportunities for spontaneous brainstorming sessions, encounters, and cross-functional exchanges that often lead to breakthrough ideas.

Company Culture and Employee Engagement

Returning to physical offices also plays a crucial role in maintaining company culture and enhancing employee engagement. The report states that 69% of companies globally have made the return to the office mandatory to preserve their unique work cultures and foster a sense of belonging among employees. In-person interactions facilitate relationship-building, mentorship, and networking opportunities that contribute to higher levels of job satisfaction and employee loyalty.

Onboarding and Training

Physical offices offer significant advantages when it comes to onboarding new employees and providing training programs. The Unispace report reveals that 68% of companies globally have mandated a return to the office to facilitate hands-on onboarding experiences and direct access to resources and experts. In-person interactions during the early stages of employment help new hires integrate into the company culture and accelerate their learning and development.

Work-Life Balance and Well-being

Surprisingly, the desire for a healthier work-life balance also emerges as a driving force behind the return to physical offices. The Unispace report suggests that 63% of companies globally have mandated a return to the office to help employees separate their professional and personal lives. The blurred boundaries between work and personal life during the remote work period have led to increased instances of burnout. By returning to the office, individuals can establish clearer boundaries, improve their well-being, and achieve a better work-life balance.

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The Unispace report highlights a significant trend: 72% of companies globally have returned to physical offices. This resurgence of physical workplaces underscores the importance of in-person collaboration, employee engagement, and work-life balance. While remote work has proven valuable during the pandemic, businesses are recognizing the unique benefits of face-to-face interactions. As companies continue to adapt to the new normal, hybrid work models, flexible office spaces, and health and safety measures will shape the future of work in the post-pandemic era.


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