We have been at the center of remote/hybrid work research and consulting for nearly two decades. Over the years, we have partnered with leading product and service providers to create thought leadership on a wide range of topics related to the future of work.
Our white papers and articles include both original and secondary research. Some of the topics we cover include remote work, hybrid work, telework, telecommuting, coworking, workplace experience, workplace strategy, workplace design, employee engagement, workplace wellness and well-being, purpose-driven organizations, talent strategies, industry studies, digital transformation, sustainability, and more.
Thanks to our sponsors and partners, most of our papers can be downloaded at no charge. Please help us continue to offer free content by including proper attribution in any references to these materials.
The State of Remote Work 2022
Over the past three years, the way we work has transformed at lightning speed. Priorities have evolved for both employers and employees alike, pushing hybrid work, the new way to work, to the forefront.
In this 6th annual State of Remote Work Report, a collaboration between Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics, we surveyed over 2,300 full-time workers in the U.S. to learn their preferences, requirements, concerns, and more – when it comes to all-things work: in-office, remote and hybrid.
Making the Workplace Work for Introverts
Written in collaboration with Savills.
After enjoying the comfort and psychological safety of working from home during the pandemic, introverts are more reluctant than most to return to the office. Though they represent up to half of the workforce, most workplaces and practices make it impossible to do their best work. Home offered a welcome escape from noisy and over-stimulating offices and, through the increased use of virtual tools—meeting polls, chat, collaborative documents, etc.—the new working arrangement gave introverts and others who find it hard to break into conversations, a new voice. As we rethink the design of workplaces and work practices in a post-pandemic world, it is critical that we create work environments that truly support a diverse pool of talent.
This paper was co-authored by Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics and Surabhi Raman, Senior Managing Director, Savills North American Workplace Practice Group.
Working from Home: Employment Law & Tax Implications of Remote Work for Employers
A peer-reviewed paper written by Kate Lister and Isaac Mamaysky
While remote work has numerous benefits for both employees and employers—such as improving employee happiness, boosting workplace productivity, and reducing office costs—remote work also creates a web of new legal obligations for employers and new entitlements for employees.
Working from Home: Employment Law & Tax Implications of Remote Work for Employers is intended to help employers and their professional advisors understand what they need to know about common legal and tax issues that arise when employees work in a state or city that is different from their own.
This paper was co-authored by Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics and Isaac Mamaysky, Partner with Potomac Law Group PLLC. A version was peer-reviewed by and will appear in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law (forthcoming, 2022).
The Business Case for Remote Work — For Employers, Employees, the Environment, and Society (2021)
The purpose of this paper is to share research on the quantitative and qualitative benefits of remote work for employers, employees, and the environment. It is intended to provide hard numbers to inform the hard decisions organizations are making on how they will operate in the future. The paper was made possible with support from Design Public Group, now part of Allsteel, the leader in home office furniture provisioning and stipend management.
The State of Remote Work 2021
From Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics
This is the fifth annual State of Remote Work report, a collaboration between Global Workplace Analytics and Owl Labs. This 32-page report is based on a survey of 2,050 U.S. workers that was conducted mid-September 2021. It provides data on who’s working from home, who has returned to the office, pandemic-related job and residential moves and the motivations behind them, dependent care issues, pros and cons of hybrid communications, desire for flexibility, employee productivity, stress and the reasons for it, pet adoption, changes in office space, intent to leave current job, and much more.
Home Office Stipend Fact Sheet 2021
We get a lot of questions from clients about what others are doing in terms of cost-sharing and/or stipends for home office furniture and equipment. This two-page fact sheet is designed to help business leaders understand the pros and cons of various options.
State of Remote Work 2020—Owl Labs & Global Workplace Analytics
For Owl Labs’ 4th annual State of Remote Work Report, we partnered with the leading remote analytics firm, Global Workplace Analytics, to learn more about the current state of remote work in 2020 and what lies ahead. We wanted to uncover remote work statistics and gather the current work from home trends to provide you with a comprehensive remote work benchmark report during COVID-19.
In this report, you’ll learn:
- How people are adapting to remote work
- How companies are handling the COVID-19 guidelines for telework
- Current remote work statistics and trends
- How the new work-from-anywhere movement affects lifestyle decisions
- What leaders and companies should know to support work-from-home employee needs
A Look at Future of Home Office Cost Sharing (Sept 2020)
Survey of executives responsible for providing work-from-home tools for employees and their view of the future. A profile of the future of home office provisioning, delivery and returns, and the surprising ROI. The September 2020 survey focused on who employers think should pay for home office technology, furniture, and other costs.
Will Offices Go the Way of the Dodo Post-COVID-19
Will offices go the way of the dodo bird in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis? That’s a question on the minds of workplace designers, CRE and FM executives, employers and employees everywhere.
According to this FMJ article by Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics and Dr. Anita Kamouri, Co-Founder of Iometrics, Inc.: “In a word, “no.” Evolution in the workplace as in nature, doesn’t happen overnight. But will the crisis change the way we work and accelerate the remote work trend? Almost certainly. Here’s why.
Kate Lister’s U.S. Senate Testimony on Telework
Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics was one of three witnesses invited to testify at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works titled, “Lessons Learned from Remote Working during COVID-19: Can the Government Save Money Through Maximizing Efficient Use of Leased Space.” This is her written testimony. A link to the video is included in the document.
Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey Report (2020)
Nearly 3,000 employees responded to the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey between March 30th and April 24th, 2020 making it the largest global post-COVID employee survey to date. This 76-page report reveals:
– Who was working from home before COVID, who’s doing it now, who wants to in the future, and how often they want to do it
– What’s worked and what hasn’t
– Success enablers
– Technological enablers
– The effect of working at home on productivity, collaboration, and more
– The triple bottom line potential of work from home
– What percentage of employees would be willing to give up their desk to work from home
– Differences in the experience by generation, geography, company size, and employee role
– What the experience will mean to the future of the built environment
Telework in the 21st Century – Perspective from Six Countries (U.S. Chapter)
This is the U.S. Chapter of Telework in the 21st Century (Edward Elgar, 2019). The chapter was written by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish and is part of a multi-country study of telework conducted by Jon Messenger. It is based on peer-reviewed research and is regularly available for purchase at over $100. The chapter has been made available for free during the COVID Pandemic, thanks to the publisher, Edward Elgar.
The Future of Workplace Experience-Tying it to Business Outcomes
Will changes we make to our workplaces and work practices help attract and retain talent, increase productivity, foster creativity and innovation, reduce costs, boost revenue, or help achieve other business goals? New approaches can answer the question.
The ROI of Well-Being for Employers
Employees are every organization’s most expensive and most valuable asset, yet we continually make thoughtless decisions (e.g., real estate, furnishings, etc.) that cripple their productivity and ignore the less visible but more impactful options. Employees are so valuable that an increase in productivity of just eight minutes a day, for a year, would entirely offset their annual occupancy costs.
However, people cannot be engaged or perform their best when they are suffering physically or psychologically. Nearly 9 out of 10 employees suffer from one or more chronic conditions, yet most can be prevented with lifestyle changes.
While more than 90 percent of employers feel that wellness and well-being programs improve employee performance, only 11 percent have made a strategic commitment to help their people lead healthier lives.
The business case is clear: it is in an organization’s own best interests to invest in employee well-being.
Alternative Workplace Strategies—Fifth Biennial Benchmarking Study
This report summarizes the findings of a survey fielded in 2017. It represents a continuation of a study initiated by an organization known as NewWOW (New Ways of Working) in 2008. With support from Haworth, Inc., similar surveys were fielded by NewWOW again in 2009, 2011, and 2013. The purpose of the survey, from the beginning, has been to benchmark workplace strategies and practices and monitor trends.
NewWOW disbanded in 2016, but Chris Hood, one of the original members of the group, couldn’t fathom abandoning the rich longitudinal data that had been collected over the years. He enlisted Dr. Gabor Nagy, from Haworth, Inc., the original sponsor of the study, as a co-conspirator and Kate Lister, also a member of NewWOW, also joined the team, So, with permission from the founder of NewWOW, the triumvirate set about to re-field the survey and produce this report.
The New Financial Workplace
An HOK paper (with research and content contributions from Global Workplace Analytics) that investigates the forces reshaping the financial industry and how workplace design can position companies for success.
As the nature of work continues to change in the financial industry, the workplace is adjusting with it. In the near future, the convergence of technology and financial services could result in financial services companies increasingly adopting the cultures and workplace design practices of the technology industry.
The Dollars and Sense of Well-Being
An article written Kate Lister for Work Design Magazine on how to quantify the impact of workplace design and work practices on well-being with tips on how to create a culture of well-being.
Flexibility for Volatility: Building a High-Performance Defense Workplace
The defense industry must continuously adapt to new and unpredictable changes– from shifting government mandates to the priorities of new administrations, procurement delays, budget changes, technology advances and global tensions.
To capture what is affecting defense contractors today, HOK and Knoll partnered to study the trends driving the modern-day defense workplace. Global Workplace Analytics was enlisted to help with the research and content development. The team surveyed corporate real estate leaders from major defense contractors and reviewed design guidelines developed for various clients over the past five years. This report summarizes our research and provides planning strategies for defense companies to consider within their workplaces.
Coworking: A Corporate Real Estate Perspective
An unfamiliar concept 10 years ago and poorly understood even now, coworking is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the commercial real estate market. In the few years since the concept began to take hold, the industry has grown to include more than 11,000 shared workspaces around the globe. While major U.S. and U.K. coworking markets are beginning to show signs of maturity, the demand in second-tier cities and emerging markets is fueling double- and even triple-digit growth for coworking centers.1
Though its growth has been profound, the shared workspace market—including serviced offices, coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators and more—represents less than 1% of the world’s office space.2 Nevertheless, coworking and the broader category of flexible workplaces are important trends worthy of owner, investor and occupier attention.
State of Telecommuting in the U.S.
This report focuses solely on full-time employees and does not include data on the self-employed or those who work at home less than half the time. (The entire work-at-home employee population is 10 to 15 times larger than those who do so half-time or more.)
What’s Good For People—Workplace Well-Being
The bottom line impact of wellness is clear, it needs to be a strategic priority. Stockholders would demand it, if they understood that increases in productivity brought about by improved wellness outstrip even real estate costs. Most organizations invest in wellness, but few address the broader topic of well-being. The indirect costs of poor health and poor well-being trump direct costs by a wide margin. There is a direct relationship between well-being and healthcare costs, productivity and more. Globally the top drivers of well-being initiatives are increasing productivity, improving engagement, reduced absenteeism. In the U.S., reducing healthcare costs is top priority. Workplace strategies that address employee’s physical, emotional, and social well-being increase employee engagement.
A Cross-Functional Playbook for Formalizing your Work-from-Home Program
A month into the historic global work-from-home experiment, over half of global CFOs said their organization didn’t have the remote work capabilities they needed to maintain productivity. Their people didn’t have the tools, technology, or training they needed to be effective. Managers weren’t comfortable managing people they couldn’t see. Policies and practices were not in place to answer the many questions that arose.
The global pandemic has made remote work a C-suite imperative. This will galvanize HR, IT, CRE, FM, Sustainability, Risk Management, and other functional areas in a common resolve to be better prepared for the next crisis.
Note: This title is only available to clients of Global Workplace Analytics.
Federal Telework – Return on Taxpayer Investment
The financial and non-financial impact of telework should and can be measured. One methodology, explained in this paper, estimates that federal telework, effectively implemented, could save taxpayers almost $14 billion a year. That figure was calculated based on a cautious set of assumptions about the impact of telework on real estate, absenteeism, turnover, productivity, transit subsidies, continuity of operations, and healthcare.
The Shifting nature of Work in the UK – Bottom Line Benefits of Telework
Thanks to advances in technology, work no longer needs to be tethered by time or place. Citrix calls this shift from work as a noun to work as a verb, ‘work shifting’. The purpose of this paper is to quantify the financial and environmental benefits of the growing trend. It will show how twice weekly home working, by those with compatible jobs and a desire to do so, could save UK companies, employees, and the community over £4,300 per year per participant. At the national level, the savings would total over £32 billion a year.
The Bottom Line on Telework for the Thurston Region State and Local Governments
This report offers a data-driven analysis of the potential for telework to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of Thurston WA region state and local government.
Based on a conservative set of assumptions drawn from a synthesis of over 4,000 data sources, we calculate that the impact of twice weekly telework by 30% of the region’s public sector workforce could:
- Save approximately $58 million per year
- Reduce vehicle miles traveled by 14 million miles per year
- Eliminate over one million vehicle trips per year
- Reduce greenhouse gases by the equivalent of planting over 100,000 trees
Results-Based Management-The Key to Unlocking Talent, Increasing Productivity
Recent research shows than 70% of the workforce is not engaged. They’re either wandering around in a fog, or actively undermining their co-workers’ success. They’re burned out, disenfranchised, and over 80% are ready to jump ship.
Eyeing the end of the recession, employees are no longer happy just to have a job. Boomers who haven’t already made their exit are anticipating it. Gen X-ers watched their workaholic parents, and aren’t about to make the same mistakes. Gen Y-ers grew up independent, tech savvy, and were taught to question authority. Now they’re questioning their employers. This is not your father’s workforce.
WORKshift Canada: The Bottom Line On Telework
This report shows how part-time telecommuting by the 4.3 million Canadians with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home could have a bottom line impact of over $53 billion per year. An employer with 250 telecommuters, for example, would save over $3 million per year
The Bottom Line on Telework-California Government Workforce
State and local government employees are bummed out, burned out, and stressed out from the endless struggle of trying to do more with less. To make matters worse, more than half the state’s most experienced people are moving toward the door to retirement. If California expects to attract a new generation of talented government leaders and staff workers it needs to find a new way of working, both figuratively and literally.
This report will show how telework can save government employers up to $11,000 per part-time telecommuter per year. This new workplace strategy offers a relatively easy, inexpensive, and popular solution to some of government’s most vexing problems such as:
- attracting and retaining talent
- reducing traffic congestion
- improving air quality
- reducing energy consumption
- reducing employee stress
- increasing morale
Telecommuting Benefits: The Bottom Line
The purpose of this paper is to quantify the benefits of telecommuting for employers, employees, and the community.
Three decades have passed since the concept of telecommuting— the substitution of technology for commuter travel—was conceived. A broad body of evidence now corroborates the many economic, environmental, and societal benefits that researchers predicted. Occasional telecommuting (one day a month) has grown significantly in recent years—increasing 74% from 2005 to 2008, though few companies have adopted it as a regular, multiple days per week, business practice.
Federal Telework: Obstacles and Opportunities
This report examines how experts in government view the obstacles to telework. Based on their insights, those of industry experts, and our own observations, this paper suggests solutions for overcoming those obstacles.