Over a period of 72 hours, the Sandler Research Center queried a subset of past survey participants from the United States. Our research was designed to provide a snapshot on the workplace in Mid-July 2021. The results are based on 242 replies from people in a variety of industries, job titles and company size.
79.2% of Respondents replied that they worked in-person at an office prior to the pandemic.
55.3% of Respondents are back in the office 5 days a week.
Of those who did work in-person, at an office prior to the pandemic, more than half (55.3% replied that they were now back in the office 5 days a week. 17.7% replied they were not back in the office yet with the remainder reporting going to the office a combination of 1, 2, 3 or 4 days a week.
When asked to speculate how frequently that same group would be going to the office in six months’ time, the most significant change was among those not going to the office today. They believed that they would begin to make their way back within 6 months in some frequency – mostly between 2 and 4 days a week.
31.5% of Respondents are not visiting client’s offices.
Almost half (48.9%) of respondents told us that they are currently visiting client’s offices. An additional 19.7% said that they are sometimes making such visits offices and almost a third (31.5%) replied that they are not visiting again yet.
We asked, “Today, where are your business conversations happening the most?” The popular answers were Online Chat (i.e., Teams, Skype, Slack, Zoom) and Email. Trailing those, Office and Personal Phone was the next most popular answer.
When dissecting the data, we found slight differences in the behavior of participants in different industries. For example, respondents in the Manufacturing, Construction and Financial Services/Insurance industries were more likely to be going to the office 5 days a week. Respondents in the Business Services, Consulting and Technology industries were less likely to be going into the office 5 days a week.
Members of the construction and technology industries were more likely to see a rise in the number of people returning 5 days a week to the office within 6 months.
When considering the size of the company as determined by annual revenue, there was little difference in the number of respondents who said they had returned to the office 5 days a week. 61% of respondents from smaller organizations (annual revenue less than $10 million) compared to 58.3% of those from larger organizations (annual revenue greater than $10 million).
In conclusion, we believe that predicting what the office will look like in six months is not an easy task because, quite simply, there are still too many imponderables. However, this data provides a snapshot of the current situation in mid-summer. As the pandemic continues its course and economic recovery continues across the country, we’ll see how closely these observations and predictions reflect the future reality.