More Employees in Offices Where Benefits Clearly Communicated, CBRE Survey Finds

(Image courtesy of CBRE; breakout image courtesy of Lisa Fotios/

CBRE, Dallas, conducted a new survey on in-office work among corporate real estate leaders, finding that leaders and employees remain dissimilar in views. However, CBRE noted, employers that can clearly communicate the benefits of such work have a higher level of attendance.  

Ninety-two percent of survey respondents believe that for all or some teams/job functions, in-office time is critical.

But, the real-world disconnect is pervasive: while corporate leaders want employees in the office an average of 3.4 days a week, the actual rate is 2.8 days.

Looking forward, 41% of respondents believe attendance will continue to improve, but about half of those respondents don’t believe employees are aligned with leadership beliefs about in-office work.

However, 57% of companies that believe they have clearly communicated the value of an office report that their employees were present more than three days a week. Only 41% of companies that did not communicate those value propositions saw such activity.

“After almost four years, people need extra motivation to change their work habits, and communicating how the effort employees make to come into the office benefits them has proven to be an effective start to that process,” said Julie Whelan, CBRE’s Global Head of Occupier Research. “Ensuring the workplace and organizational culture delivers this value isn’t easy, but it is imperative for better office attendance.”

Thirty-seven percent of respondents say that their companies are also working on aligning the culture of the office with such benefits. For example, some are having corporate leaders act as role models for the desired attendance rate and retaining managers who will set new team standards for in-office work.

In terms of space needed, 53% of respondents say they are downsizing their office footprints.  

(Image courtesy of CBRE)

And, companies are rethinking their office spaces to align with the value proposition of in-office work, with many redesigning offices, upgrading amenities or relocating.

The survey was conducted in October by CBRE and CoreNote Global, with 235 corporate real estate professionals around the world weighing in.