4
 min read

Patterns, Predictability, and People: Analyzing Office Usage in a Post-COVID Workplace

Office usage patterns haven't disappeared, but they have changed. What do they tell us?

Patterns, Predictability, and People: Analyzing Office Usage in a Post-COVID Workplace

In his recent “Mann Report” article, Thijs van der Burgt, HqO’s Managing Director of Corporate Solutions and the Co-founder of Office App, wrote about the patterns and predictability of employees’ office usage.

“Pre-pandemic, most [companies] could bank on at least 70% of their user base being in the office at any one time,” he wrote. “Occupancy was largely predictable and reliable.”

At first glance, it may seem as if this predictability has disappeared. But this isn’t the case. Instead, they have fundamentally changed, as we face an evolution of the workplace.

People see the office’s enormous value as a place to collaborate and co-create, with office usage centered around company culture, socialization, and group work.

Emerging Patterns in a Post-COVID Workplace

Office App’s findings – derived from analysis of more than 1,700 Office App users’ in-app behavior – show that people want physical, human-based interaction in the middle of the week, with more individual, non-office based work at the working week’s start and end.

For example, in the time between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021, the overall number of employees using Office App to book meeting rooms decreased by 30%. At the outset this seems dire, as though the office itself is on its way out. But this is not the case.

While overall meeting-room bookings did decrease, the number of spaces booked per individual during the same period rose a dramatic 75%. Again, this means that office usage patterns have not gone away; they have been repositioned.

In addition to overall workplace experience, the shape of the week itself seems to be changing. Pre-pandemic Mondays were preferred for planning (or other large) in-person meetings. The emergence of hybrid work has caused a shift, with Monday meeting bookings dropping by nearly 15% – indicating employees’ increasing use of Mondays as a day for remote work.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, meanwhile, are experiencing the opposite effect. Employees prefer midweek – the “centerpiece of the working week” – for in-person meetings.

Leveraging New Patterns of Office Usage

New office-usage patterns deliver corporates and business leaders a clear message:

“Predictability of workspace usage is still possible, but only with the tools in place to record changing employee behaviors.”

These digital tools assist corporates in the development of “real certainty” in regarding employees’ use of the office. These tools – which the right workplace experience platform will always offer – enable corporates to:

  • Monitor how and when their office is used
  • Analyze this usage and identify emerging usage patterns
  • Adapt to and benefit from those patterns by making data-backed decisions that increase employee engagement and building efficiency

“Those who hope things simply return to pre-pandemic days will struggle,” Thijs wrote. “But those who are willing to monitor, analyze, and adapt will provide the post-pandemic workspaces today’s employees want and need."

Ready to see what Office App can do?

Book a demo

Or want more office insights? Visit the Office App blog – or download our free Hybrid Work brochure, which gives further insight into the changes and challenges faced in a post-COVID workplace.

Download the Hybrid Work brochure

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