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SAEMA – Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association – has a long history in delivering the best training and guidance in the temporary and permanent suspended access industry.

In keeping with our commitment to advancing safety through raising the standards in best practice, we keep in touch with all the latest developments – chiefly safety, worker welfare and the environment. We are pleased to share the following from Envoy.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to say the workplace has changed a lot in the last few years — in the way it looks, in the number of people coming in, and in its purpose. While some companies expanded their footprint, others shrank and opted for space-saving solutions. While some companies brought their employees back onsite at once, others brought them back in phases. Every workplace went on its own unique journey, but we were curious if there were any larger trends that defined workplaces in 2022.

So we turned to the data to get a deeper look at what really went on in the workplace. Our newly released At Work: the 2023 workplace trends report reveals insights around foot traffic, desk booking, meeting room reservations, employee behaviors, and more. It looks at more than 31 million workplace entries around the globe to pull out key trends in 2022.

Check out the full report to get a holistic picture of last year, but if you’re short on time, here are 6 surprising employee statistics that shaped 2022.

1. 71% of employees prefer going to the workplace in the middle of the week

According to At Work: the 2023 workplace trends report, 71% of employees preferred going to the workplace during the middle of the week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the most popular days to go onsite, with Friday being the least popular. In fact 2022 had much fewer folks coming in on Friday as compared to 2021.

It makes sense why the middle of the week would be the most popular. Hybrid employees use those days to collaborate onsite with their colleagues, attend office events, and participate in team meetings. Mondays and Fridays are head-down focus days and nicely bookend the work week.

2. 81% of employees schedule their workday on the day-of

Is it procrastination or is it ultimate flexibility? That might depend on the employee. Our data found that 81% of employees scheduled to come into their workplace on the day-of. The majority of employees took advantage of the spontaneous and flexible nature of hybrid work. They woke up that day and decided whether or not to go to the office. And sure, some people probably procrastinated until the last minute to schedule their onsite days, but we won’t hold that against them!

On the other hand, there were employees who were early planners. 10% of hybrid employees scheduled their days onsite a month before. These folks were probably at companies with more consistent return to office (RTO) policies, so they knew what to expect in their schedules and liked to know what their month ahead looked like.

3. Employees booked more than 8 million desks in 2022

Hot desking was on fire in 2022. Not literally, but it was popular. Why? Hybrid companies that didn’t have a need for permanent desks opted for hot desking to save on real estate costs and create a more flexible workplace for employees. According to our data, employees booked more than 8 million desks in 2022. Those desks could’ve been next to their work bestie, manager, or simply in a preferred part of the office.

We dove deeper to find out which teams booked the most hot desks last year. Engineering teams took first place, representing 26% of total bookings. Other top hot-desking teams included Finance (19%) and IT (15%). These teams rely on collaboration and being in the office to work on their projects. They may also need special equipment that is only available in the office.

4. Employees booked millions of meeting rooms

In 2022, employees reserved meeting rooms in record breaking numbers. In fact, employees booked more than 1.5 million meeting rooms in 2022—a 300% increase compared to 2021.

However, there are some variations in how employees planned and booked their meetings. Almost 35% of employees booked a meeting room more than a month in advance. On the other hand, 33% of employees booked meetings the day-of, allowing for impromptu or spontaneous discussions. No matter the type of meeting, employees were able to reserve their favorite rooms to get quality work done.

5. 69% of employees made friends at work for support

One of the best parts of being in an office is getting to chat with coworkers and making friendships that make work fun. Without trustworthy friends to work with, the office can be lonely. 69% of employees in our recent Return to Work survey say that they made friends at work in 2022 for support—both professional or personal.

68% of respondents prioritize work relationships for better collaboration, as it’s much more effective to collaborate on a project with someone if you have a good personal relationship as well. And 60% say friendships give them a deeper sense of belonging in the workplace. 2022 brought workplace communities back together, paving the way for meaningful friendships and a stronger sense of connection than the years before.

6. 76% of employees trust coworkers to be more productive when they’re in the office

One negative that came along with hybrid and remote work: productivity paranoia. Are people actually being productive at home? More so than in the office? Turns out, employees had a lot to say about each other’s productivity habits in 2022.

According to the Return to Work survey, 76% of employees trusted their coworkers to be productive if they were in the office, while only 24% trusted their coworkers to be productive at home.

Those that split their time between the workplace and home tend to put more faith in coworkers who work remotely. 34% of hybrid employees put more trust in colleagues to get work done remotely, compared to only 10% of those who work full-time in the office.

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