Study: Nearly Two-Thirds of Employees are Willing to Pay for Access to Office Space to Support Hybrid Work

  • 64% of employees would pay for access to an office space, and 75% would give up at least one benefit or perk for the freedom to choose their work environment.
  • 79% of the C-Suite plan to let their employees split their time between corporate offices and remote working, if their job allows for it. 76% say they’re likely to give their employees a stipend to work from home or a co-working space.
  • Post-Covid, employees want to split their time between their company HQ, home, and other locations such as satellite offices, co-working spaces, and public “third spaces” like a library or café. But employees who are more satisfied and engaged at work want to spend twice as much time in these “other locations,” compared to their less satisfied and less engaged colleagues.

New York, New York—April 13, 2021 – A hybrid workplace model, in which employees have the ability to work in different spaces, including corporate offices, coworking spaces, cafes, and from home, will be the way forward post-Covid-19, according to a new blind study by WeWork, and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm. The study of 2,000 U.S. employees and C-level executives found that both groups desire hybrid so much that they’re willing to make a significant financial investment to ensure a successful transition to this new way of working. The survey also revealed a link between hybrid work arrangements and employee satisfaction, engagement, and likelihood to recommend their company. 

Employees and Companies are Willing to Make Immense Sacrifices for Hybrid Work Arrangements

Employees value flexibility so highly  that they’re willing to give up valuable benefits and perks, and companies are highly willing to support them and adopt hybrid strategies.

  • Desire to choose: 95% of employees want some level of control over how, where, and when they work—and 96% of companies are willing to give them that control.
  • Willingness to sacrifice: 75% of employees would be willing to give up at least one benefit or perk—including healthcare coverage, cash bonuses, and paid time off—for the freedom to choose their work environment. 
  • Personally invested: 64% of employees would personally pay for access to an office space in a location of their choice, and nearly half (48%) would pay more than $300 per month.
  • Large executive buy-in: After the pandemic subsides, 79% of the C-Suite plan to let their employees split their time between corporate offices and remote working, if their job allows for it.      
  • Stipends for hybrid options: 76% of the C-Suite say they’re likely to give their employees a stipend to work from home or a co-working space. 

The Future of Work is Hybrid—But What Does That Look Like?

In the new hybrid model, employees will work from multiple locations in any given week, including their home, company HQ, satellite offices, co-working spaces, and public “third spaces” like a library or café. They’ll also split each workday between different locations.

  • Division of time: After Covid-19, employees want to spend 36% of their time at a company HQ, 30% of their time working from home, and 34% of their time at satellite offices, co-working / flexible shared spaces or public “third spaces.”
  • Company expectations: The C-Suite would prefer that employees spend 53% of their time in an office and 47% of their time working from home or another public space.
  • Flexible work week: 53% of employees want to work in an office 3 days/week or less. When they do go into an office, 50% of employees say less than 5 hours/day is ideal.

A Hybrid Approach is Linked to Better Workplace Outcomes 

Adoption of a hybrid workstyle is greater among employees who are highly satisfied, engaged, and likely to recommend their company. 

  • Satisfied and engaged employees are already using hybrid: Before and during Covid-19, employees who are satisfied, engaged, and likely to recommend their company report spending 50% more time in locations like satellite offices, co-working spaces or “third spaces” (e.g., café or library), and one-third less time at their company HQ. 
  • Less time at home means more likely to be engaged: After Covid-19, all employees want to work from home more often—but highly satisfied and engaged employees want to spend more than twice as much time at locations other than their HQ and much less time at home, compared to their less satisfied and less engaged colleagues.      
    • Employees who are satisfied and engaged want to work from other locations 37% of the time, from home 27% of the time, and from HQ 36% of the time. 
    • Workers with low satisfaction and engagement want to spend just 17% of their time at other locations, 46% of their time at home, and 37% of their time at an HQ.

The Vast Majority of Companies and Employees Consider Hybrid Work a Benefit 

Nearly all survey respondents report a keen understanding of the benefits of a hybrid model, but certain types of companies and employees are more likely to be “early adopters” of this approach.

  • Hybrid as a benefit: 94% of employees and 96% of the C-Suite say that there are benefits to a hybrid approach.
    • Employees say the top 3 benefits of a hybrid approach are better work-life balance (62%), more control over their schedule (49%), a less stressful work environment (48%), and saving money on commuting costs (also 48%).     
    • The C-Suite says the top 3 benefits are more flexibility (52%), higher productivity (49%), and higher engagement (42%).
  • Flexibility as the ultimate perk: Overall, 87% of the C-Suite considers flexible workspace options a benefit or perk for their employees. 
    • This number is higher in large companies (96%) vs. small (75%), urban locations (93%) vs. rural (80%), companies in the pre-start-up stage (96%) vs. the mature stage (79%), and industries like financial services (94%) and software & technology (94%).
  • Demographics impact workstyle preferences: Overall, 65% of employees want to split their time between corporate offices and remote working after Covid-19.
    • Employees are more likely to want this if they are less than 25 years old (71%) vs. 55+ (46%), have a Master’s Degree or higher (75%) vs. a High School degree (50%), and make at least $150,000/year (75%) vs. less than $60,000/year (58%).

Learn more about this report here.

Supporting Quotes
“Now more than ever, these survey results reinforce what the pandemic has made clear: Covid-19 has fundamentally altered the way we think about the office. Moving forward, employees and companies will need to adopt flexible solutions that support hybrid working styles in order to keep employees engaged and satisfied. As the results show, hybrid is the way of the future and WeWork looks forward to supporting companies as they make these transitions.”
– Sandeep Mathrani, Chief Executive Officer, WeWork

“Our study concludes that workers and their leaders desire a hybrid work arrangement, allocating their time across corporate offices, co-working spaces and their homes. People inherently want more freedom in their lives, including control over when, where and how they work. We found that even if companies don’t provide access to offices, many employees are willing to use their own income to have a hybrid arrangement. The sooner companies accept, promote and adapt to a hybrid work model, the better it will be for everyone.”
– Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence

Methodology
Research findings are based on a survey conducted by Savanta, Inc. between February 11 – February 19, 2021. For this survey, 2,000 C-suite and non-C-suite employees were asked general questions around the hybrid workplace model, benefits, drawbacks, and requirements of hybrid, financial implications for hybrid, corporate real estate strategy and employee perceptions around office space & costs. The study was blind, and targeted full-time working C-suite and non-C-suite employees who are 18+ years of age and living in the U.S. Respondents were recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources to join the panels and participate in market research surveys. All panelists have passed a double opt-in process and complete on average 300 profiling data points prior to taking part in surveys. Respondents are invited to take part via email and are provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 2.2 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About Workplace Intelligence
Workplace Intelligence, LLC is an HR research and advisory firm helping leaders adapt to trends, drive performance, and prepare for the future. Our mission is to create more intelligent workplaces using data-based insights. For more information go to our website and our LinkedIn profile.

About WeWork
WeWork was founded in 2010 with the vision to create environments where people and companies come together and do their best work. Since opening our first location in New York City, we’ve grown into a global flexible space provider committed to delivering technology-driven flexible solutions, inspiring spaces, and unmatched community experiences. Today, we’re constantly reimagining how the workplace can help everyone, from freelancers to Fortune 500s, be more motivated, productive, and connected. For more information about WeWork, please visit us at wework.com.