Wow, there is a lot to digest in this EY Future Workplace Index 2023 study! Here are my key takeaways. Number 1, companies are pushing their employees to come back to the office at least 2-3 days a week or more. And the majority still have assigned workstations or offices as opposed to unassigned reservation systems. So along with this, most companies aren’t downsizing, but rather investing in their space to make it more attractive and productive for their employees. What is your company doing?

Future workplace trends: Are you putting your office to work?

Rocked by three years of shifting workplace trends, corporate real estate is still finding stable ground.

In the continuing reboot of the American workplace, millions of employees in the US and worldwide have been pulled in different directions by swerving trends. Hybrid, fully remote, flexible schedules, four-day workweeks, required days in the office each week and full time in the office are among the models vying for standardization, acceptance and talent in the corporate workforce.

Fluctuating expectations have created a low but constant drumbeat of anxiety for mid-career professionals with children, aging parents and long commutes. Meanwhile, Gen Z, the next wave of the corporate workforce, naturally assumes a whole new level of agency and flexibility when it comes to work-life balance and preferred practices, even in their first or second jobs.

The third annual EY Future Workplace Index, a national research survey of C-suite corporate leaders conducted by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), offers an eye-opening window into the ongoing evolution of the workplace and real estate during the past year. Perhaps most remarkable, is that the number of EY US survey respondents reporting nearly full-time remote work has plummeted from 34% in 2022 to 1% in 2023.

The move away from full-time remote work is welcome news for the corporate real estate sector, which is aiming for growth in both the demand for office space and its utilization. It’s worth noting that based on survey respondent feedback, over the past 24 months, smaller companies increased their office space, while larger organizations maintained or reduced their footprint but enhanced the quality of their space, technology and amenities. Optimization of space and time leads company leadership priorities.