8 in 10 business leaders want workers to return to the office post COVID
April 23, 2021 | 11:15 am CDT
Office worker

NEW YORK - With COVID potentially on its way out, commercial furniture dealership WB Wood surveyed business leaders if they planned to have workers return to the office.

The survey showed that 41.5 percent of executives are planning a full-time return to the office, while 39.4 percent are planning for a hybrid model (splitting employees' time between the office and remote work).

Just under 20 percent said they expected working remotely to be a permanent solution.

“In our daily conversations with corporate clients and business prospects, my colleagues and I anecdotally see gathering interest for a full-time return to the office, but the results of this formal survey provide statistical evidence of the trend,” said Rich Mines, CEO of WB Wood. “My interpretation is that companies want to gain a competitive advantage with a robust office presence.”

But although 80.9 percent of executives are planning for either a full-time return to the office or a hybrid work model, more than half (52.8%) of the survey respondents said they have no plans to reconfigure their office space.

Mines believes many businesses may be underestimating the changes needed to optimize workplaces for health and safety and accommodate the evolving requirements of a hybrid work model in which employees blend working from different locations, including home, on the go, or the office.

Fewer than one out of five businesses (18.3 percent) have already reconfigured their spaces, and 21 percent are planning to make either modest or substantial adjustments to their spaces. 8 percent of respondents said they are not sure how to reconfigure their office space.

WB Wood conducted the survey via Google Surveys from March 18, 2021 to March 30, 2021 and screened 3,651 participants to include 208 qualified responses from the c-suite, senior executives, founders, and board members who have decision-making authority or input regarding their companies’ office space. Respondents were men and women aged 35-65+ who reside in the Northeastern United States.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at robert.dalheim@woodworkingnetwork.com.