Hybrid Work study in Europe reveals employees are ready for the office, but the office isn’t ready for them

At Cisco Live Amsterdam 2024, we unveiled a new hybrid work study detailing how the reality of the in-office experience compares to employee expectations around Europe.

This study surveyed 4,500 employees and 1,050 employers in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

Results of Hybrid Work Europe study

Webex EMEA Hybrid Work Study Overview Graphic
  • Of the employers surveyed, 79% are mandating a full or partial return for three primary reasons: team communication, productivity, and workplace culture.
  • Among employees, 74% feel positive about returning to the office, citing three reasons: collaboration, brainstorming, and fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Even though employers and employees are ready to return to the office, the office is not ready for them. Only 1 in 3 employees think the office is equipped to support hybrid work. Why?
    • More than 50% of office space is still dedicated to personal working spaces, which is counter-productive to creating collaborative hybrid environments and building strong team cultures.
    • 73% of employees surveyed do not feel current meeting rooms enhance in-office productivity, which means existing conference rooms are not working either.
    • 71% of employers surveyed feel that the experience of remote participants is inconsistent with that of in-office participants.

Employers recognize a gap, and if they don’t make the office a magnet, they will not be able to mandate people returning to the office.

  • The survey revealed that 65% of employers plan to redesign workspaces within the next 24 months, focusing on updating meeting spaces, deploying hybrid work technology and infrastructure, modernizing office layouts and seating, and building sustainable, eco-friendly features.
  • 85% of employers believe workspace enhancements will retain and attract talent.

The State of Hybrid Work: Europe, 2024.

Recent research uncovers the challenges and satisfaction criteria to creating a successful hybrid work strategy for organizations across Europe.

Our office transformation journey

Cisco experienced similar feedback while evaluating how to make our offices more attractive to employees. 

In 2020, we began a floor-to-ceiling transformation in our New York office to create a space that draws people in and gives them a collaborative experience they cannot get at home. In 2022, we opened the doors to a completely reimagined workspace.

During the time between construction and completion, we learned a lot about the essential components that employees need to have collaborative, constructive interactions in the office. Below are more details about our space transformation.

Webex EMEA Hybrid Work Study Penn1 Infographic

Why does this matter?

These facts are important because they are the blueprint for making the office a magnet, not a mandate. In the New York office, we have seen a 2.5x increase in the number of people coming into the office per quarter!

Not only did we transform our space, but we also infused intelligent features throughout that have turned it into a smart building, supporting our efforts and commitments to sustainability.

We have taken what we learned in New York and transformed other offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Paris—and more to come soon. We continue learning from experience to make the office a magnet, not a mandate.

Take a look at our fully reimagined New York office!

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