The future of work will require companies with the agility to adapt to new and changing conditions across the workplace will successfully build their competitive advantage in a post-pandemic world, claims new reports from JLL.

The Shaping Human Experience report, which surveyed more than 2,000 global office workers, found employees still retain a strong affinity for the office, despite the flexibility of working from home post-pandemic.

JLL corporate solutions chief executive Neil Murray said research found 70 per cent of office workers believe the office environment is more conducive to connecting with teammates to solve complex issues, manage direct reports and connect with leadership, with traditional offices set to act as the central hub for productivity and collaboration and provide a new purpose of driving sustained human performance, experience and well-being.

“The pandemic has accelerated the trend of the office being a space to foster productivity and socialization,” he said.  “Moving forward, however, variety, flexibility and choice will be core tenets of all successful office environments post-crisis.”

inside office building

More employees want a balance of the office and home.

JLL chief human resources officer Mary Bilbrey said there are four worker types companies will need to need to consider when building a truly worker-centric workplace that is inclusive of employees’ diverse preferences.

“Many employers are now starting to accept that they may never operate in the way they did pre-crisis again. Employers need to shape their workspaces according to the new ways of working imposed by the pandemic, and reinvent themselves to evolve alongside the workforce, rather than against it,” she said.

The profiles include:

  •  The Traditional Office Worker wants to work exclusively in the office
  • The Free Spirit wants to escape from the traditional office environment
  • The Experience Lover enjoys human experiences
    The Wellness Addict prioritizes work-life balance.

JLL head of corporate solution research Dr Marie Puybaraud also expects a significant shift in flexible space operating models as hybrid work becomes the status quo, with landlords creating their own flexible space (or partnering with flexible space operators) to corporate occupiers considering a greater dispersion of their footprint to adapt to new working and living patterns, a dispersed, digitally enabled, liquid workforce will characterize the future of work.

“While the COVID-19 crisis has incited a massive paradigm shift in the way we work and live, it is also providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a better future of work,” she said.

“Future successful companies will be those that are bold and proactive in shaping their workplaces according to the changing needs and preferences of a liquid workforce, where solutions are tailored to meet individual employee needs.”