flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Cushman & Wakefield report examines work-at-home pros and cons


Cushman & Wakefield report examines work-at-home pros and cons

The office, now part of a larger workplace ecosystem, still reinforces employees’ connections with their companies.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | May 28, 2020

A new report, based on responses from more than 40,000 employees worldwide, found that companies struggle to sustain their corporate cultures when many of their associates are working remotely. Images: Cushman & Wakefield


During the coronavirus pandemic, millions of employees, both in the U.S. and worldwide, found themselves working from home in compliance with shelter-at-home mandates by governments. A new survey of more than 40,000 employees found that workers can be productive and collaborative anywhere, and actually prefer flexibility about where they are allowed to work from day to day. However, what’s eroded in the process is the cultural bond that connects employees to their companies, colleagues, and customers.

Consequently, the workplace has become an ecosystem that is a network of virtual and physical spaces. And the new purpose of the office is to provide inspiring destinations that strengthen the cultural connections, learning, and bonding with customers and colleagues.

“The office is where I feel part of the company,” Brett White, executive chairman and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, said during an interview yesterday with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program. Cushman & Wakefield is the author of this “Future of the Workplace” report, for which it analyzed more than 2.5 million data points driving workplace experiences for workers across the planet in the pre-COVID-19 era, and another 1.7 million data points from the survey’s respondents in the current work-from-home environment.

Also See: Using lighting IoT to inform a safer office reentry strategy

The report found a lot of enthusiasm for at-home work. Among the employees surveyed, 73% believes their companies should embrace some level of working from home, and 90% of employees feel they can be trusted to work remotely. Three quarters of those polled agree or strongly agree that they have been collaborating effectively with colleagues in the current environment, a 10-point increase from the pre-COVID-19 period.


During the pandemic, employees assert they can be productive and collaborative working from home.


Those findings led Cushman & Wakefield to infer that “the enforced work from home means that using collaborative technology tools is no longer optional but an imperative, and employees are using them to their fullest.” Employees also believe that, despite the distractions attendant to working from home (including kids, pets, home schooling while schools are shut), they can be productive when called upon to focus.

Also see: Infection control in office buildings: Preparing for re-occupancy amid the coronavirus

But this survey also found that working from home isn’t always ideal. For one thing, not every house is set up adequately to replicate an office. And working from home seems to be tougher for younger employees: 70% of Gen Z and 69% of Millennials report challenges in remote working, compared to 55% of Baby Boomers.

The report suggests that people still struggle with remaining disciplined and energized during the day when they’re at home working. This continued to be the weakest experience outcome among respondents.

Overall wellbeing is also jeopardized when people work from home, not because they struggle to maintain a work/life balance but rather because they have less time away from work.

As employees return to offices, Cushman & Wakefield is cautioning companies to take time to understand people’s challenges and consider how they can support them. For example, salespeople have had the hardest time adjusting to at-home work requirements, as have R&D teams. Conversely, operations and support functions seem to have little downside from the at-home work experience.


Among the factors that drive worker bonds, cultural connection still ranked tops. The Cushman & Wakefield report states that the cultural bond is harder to maintain when workers aren't in offices.


Also see: Office market could be COVID-19 casualty

Cushman & Wakefield also notes that flexible working practices can help companies enact social-distancing measures and new types of collaborative environments without needing to add more square footage. “If 50% of respondents who indicated they would increase their flexible working followed through on this, there would be no net change in footprint,” the report states.

Cushman & Wakefield expects organizations to embrace more remote working. “In doing so, we can reimagine the way we work and leverage location, time and technology to drive improved people, place and business performance.”

However, White told CNBC that, to maintain their “cultural adhesion,” companies would also limit the number of employees who to work from home permanently. He expects that number to be less than 10%, and possibly as low as 5-6%.

Related Stories

MFPRO+ Special Reports | May 6, 2024

Top 10 trends in affordable housing

Among affordable housing developers today, there’s one commonality tying projects together: uncertainty. AEC firms share their latest insights and philosophies on the future of affordable housing in BD+C's 2023 Multifamily Annual Report.

K-12 Schools | Apr 29, 2024

Tomorrow's classrooms: Designing schools for the digital age

In a world where technology’s rapid pace has reshaped how we live, work, and communicate, it should be no surprise that it’s also changing the PreK-12 education landscape.

Healthcare Facilities | Mar 18, 2024

A modular construction solution to the mental healthcare crisis

Maria Ionescu, Senior Medical Planner, Stantec, shares a tested solution for the overburdened emergency department: Modular hub-and-spoke design.

Office Buildings | Mar 8, 2024

Conference room design for the hybrid era

Sam Griesgraber, Senior Interior Designer, BWBR, shares considerations for conference room design in the era of hybrid work.

Airports | Jan 15, 2024

How to keep airports functional during construction

Gensler's aviation experts share new ideas about how to make the airport construction process better moving forward.

Apartments | Jan 9, 2024

Apartment developer survey indicates dramatic decrease in starts this year

Over 56 developers, operators, and investors across the country were surveyed in John Burns Research and Consulting's recently-launched Apartment Developer and Investor Survey.

MFPRO+ Special Reports | Jan 4, 2024

Top 10 trends in multifamily rental housing

Demographic and economic shifts, along with work and lifestyle changes, have made apartment living preferable for a wider range of buyers and renters. These top 10 trends in multifamily housing come from BD+C's 2023 Multifamily Annual Report.

Urban Planning | Dec 18, 2023

The impacts of affordability, remote work, and personal safety on urban life

Data from Gensler's City Pulse Survey shows that although people are satisfied with their city's experience, it may not be enough.

Senior Living Design | Oct 30, 2023

Navigating architectural challenges—from 'unbuildable' to unbelievable

Mick Schaefer, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, recounts the challenges Vessel Architecture & Design had to overcome while designing a state-of-the-art senior living facility.

Healthcare Facilities | Sep 8, 2023

Modern healthcare interiors: Healing and care from the outside in

CO Architects shares design tips for healthcare interiors, from front desk to patient rooms.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

MFPRO+ Special Reports

Top 10 trends in affordable housing

Among affordable housing developers today, there’s one commonality tying projects together: uncertainty. AEC firms share their latest insights and philosophies on the future of affordable housing in BD+C's 2023 Multifamily Annual Report.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021