Here’s the Latest WE:Brief – WE keep you in the know!


Quick Peek Inside This WE:Brief
  • New research shows less than 25% of employers have trained managers or employees for hybrid 
  • Gartner predicts AI agents will attend 25% of meetings by 2025
  • Misleading report on home office productivity
  • Since 2019, distance to office has nearly tripled for employees of small and midsize companies
  • Dan Pink on the psychological, physiological, pathological, and neurobiological role of the sign in managing stress
  • New research shows office mandates don’t work for people or profit
  • Four companies that are getting hybrid & culture right
  • Where AI is headed and how it will impact everything you do
  • KPMG survey shows two-thirds of CEOs think employees will be back in the office full-time three years from now
  • Leaders are clueless about whether employees want to separate or integrate their work and life.
  • Regular remote work can halve an employee’s carbon footprint but only if they modify their behavior
New research shows less than 25% of employers have trained managers or employees for hybrid


Kate Lister’s insight:
New research shows 75% of organizations have not prepared their workforce to be successful with hybrid and remote work. Specifically, they have not:
– Trained managers to manage a distributed workforce
– Trained employees in best practices for remote or hybrid work
– Adopted team and/or communications norms

The 2024 State of Workplace Flexibility Report, a collaboration between TechSmith, Global Workplace Analytics, and Caryatid LLC, covers a wide range of topics including how employees collaborate and communicate, the mix of asynchronous and synchronous practices they use and would like to use for collaboration, communication, and meetings, and much more. Each topic is nuanced by the respondent’s age, the size of the company they work for, their place in the organization, and their role.

Download your free copy of the 30-page report HERE!
AI agents will attend over 25% of virtual and hybrid meetings by end of 2025 (Gartner)


Kate Lister’s insight:


Gartner’s just released report on AI’s Impact on the Employee Experience offers some bold predictions including:
  • By year-end 2025, AI agents will attend over 25% of virtual and hybrid meetings, causing a shift in attendance and engagement by humans.
  • By 2028, GenAI will be so tightly woven into personal and team productivity applications that it will scarcely merit comment by employees and will require little, if any, oversight.
  • By 2028, enterprises will enhance productivity by replacing 60% of SaaS workplace applications that lack GenAI-driven capabilities with those that do.
  • By 2026, 50% of governments worldwide will enforce use of Responsible AI through regulations, policies and the need for data privacy. [Yikes, only 50%]
Organizations need to ready themselves for rapid change and the use of AI with upskilling, training, change management, cross-functional collaboration, and strong governance!


Misleading report on home versus in-office productivity
In recent years, millions of people worldwide transitioned from working in offices to at home, sparking a rise in questions about productivity, health…
Kate Lister’s insight:
Studies, or more specifically, the headlines about them boil my blood.In this one, the highlights indicate that “work performance” is better in-office. However, the findings show only one of the five factors they use to measure performance, motivation, has a statistically significant positive impact. Two other measures, stress and fatigue, are significantly higher in the office. And the last two, work output and focus do not have a statistically significant impact!


So how do those findings support a highlight about “work performance” being better in the office? They don’t.

Meanwhile, they don’t even include the finding that “connection to coworkers“, which is significantly better in the office, as a work performance measure. 

I’m guessing only the geeks among us read beyond the title, bulleted highlights, and conclusion in scientific papers. The media certainly doesn’t and it looks like even peer-reviewed journals are skimming, not reading their entries.
Since 2019, distance to office nearly tripled for employees of small and midsize companies
New study shows that despite return-to-office mandates from larger companies, a large portion of Americans who work for small and midsized businesses now live farther from their employers.
Kate Lister’s insight:
A brand new study of move trends among employees of small and mid-size employers—which collectively account for 99% of US companies and 59% of the US workforce—shows the average distance between home and office almost tripled since the start of the pandemic (from 10 miles to 27 miles). The share of employees who live more than 50 miles from their employer mushroomed nearly fivefold. 


The biggest shift in distance was among, the highest earners (those making over $250k/year), Millennials, and those hired after the start of the pandemic.


This trend will have far-reaching impacts, both good and bad, on society including housing affordability, downtown and suburban commerce, commercial real estate values, shifting political lines, opportunities for the un- and under-employed, diversity, entrepreneurship, sustainability, transportation options and infrastructure, funding for city services, business travel, and more.





Four companies that are getting hybrid & culture right
Here’s how some “Best Companies to Work For” create and sustain organizational culture as employees juggle in-office and virtual work.
Kate Lister’s insight:
The article offers four great examples of companies that are doubling down on getting distributed work, working right and reaping the results. Their flexibility initiatives are paired with new practices, new employee resources, and workplace redesign.


Synchrony credits the program for a 35% increase in their applicant pool.


ServiceNow credits flexible work for 90% of its staff for a 44% reduction in turnover, 94% participation in their employee voice survey, and engagement at 81%. 


Nationwide credits the changes they have made to support flexibility for fortifying its culture and contributing to honor as a Best Place To Work two years in a row.


AECOM says it’s digital-first mindset has help them put well-being at the center of its culture.


New Research Shows Office Mandates Don’t Work For People or Profit
Two new studies suggest remote work not only lures more diverse and experienced candidates willing to trade higher pay for flexibility—but that office mandates don’t appear to boost financial performance, hurting job satisfaction instead. 
Kate Lister’s insight:
The article cites several new large academic studies that 1) debunk the CEO gripes about distributed work reducing productivity and engagement, 2) show that distributed work increases diversity, 3) more powerful CEOs are more likely to issue return-to-office mandates and 4) firms with a prior quarter drop in stock price were more likely to introduce an RTO mandate. 


In terms of diversity, a study from Wharton that looked at data from over half a million jobs, found jobs offered as “remote” received 15% more female applicants, 33% more minority applicants, and a 17% increase in applicant experience.
Dan Pink on the Psychological, Physiological, Pathological, and Neurobiological Role of the Sigh on Managing Stress 
Drawing on the scientific paper, “The Integrative Role of Sigh in Psychology, Physiology, Pathology, and Neurobiology,” Dan Pink shares his favorite stress buster. 
Kate Lister’s insight:
If reading a 25-page scientific paper on how a simple sigh can help relieve your stress and anxiety is your kind of fun, Google the title of this post. If it isn’t, watch this 3-minute video from Dan Pink. Spoiler alert: two short breaths in, one out. 



WE Love Our Sponsors
From  March 8, 2:02 PM
WE Love our 2024 Sponsors! Your generous support makes our community, programs, and events possible.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Contact David Karpook  or Pat Turnbull for details.
Sponsor Spotlight: Eptura
From  March 8, 2:01 PM
Eptura™ is a global worktech company that digitally connects people, workplaces, and assets in a unified platform to enable our customers to thrive. In 2023, Eptura’s Workplace Index reports explored the changing work environment in detail, painting a complete picture of the current state and near future of asset and facility management.


Backed by proprietary data and commissioned research, our latest report provides an up-to-date overview of the evolving workplace across four demands — freedom and connection, value creation and cost control, flexibility and certainty, and CO2 targets and costs. Get the Q4 Workplace Index for the latest insights.
Sponsor Spotlight: NavigatorCRE
March 8, 2:02 PM
NavigatorCRE is redefining the management and analysis of global real estate portfolios for asset owners & occupiers. With its unmatched user experience, and seamless data integrations, it stands at the forefront of innovation. The platform consolidates disparate systems and data streams, offering a unified, clear view that transcends traditional barriers. This enables robust business intelligence capabilities and ensures comprehensive, actionable insights are readily accessible. NavigatorCRE not only simplifies the decision-making process but also empowers real estate teams to achieve optimized space utilization and substantial cost savings, all through a lens that brings clarity and cohesion to a complex data landscape.
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