Return-to-Office Plans Are Paying Off According to Envoy’s At Work Trends Report

Since the start of the pandemic, workplace leaders have adapted and pivoted to new circumstances. They’ve also had to make critical decisions and plans based on limited workplace data. Today, Envoy published At Work: the 2022 workplace trends report, a comprehensive state of the physical workplace compiled and designed for workplace leaders around the world.

At Work dives into Envoy’s proprietary platform data, analysing millions of global workplace sign-ins as well as desks and meeting room reservations. It weaves in perspectives from 400 workplace leaders from organisations like Anheuser-Busch, Expedia, and the Oakland Athletics, who shared their take on the past year. It also answers questions that are top of mind for workplace leaders: How did people use their office space? Where did companies spend workplace dollars? And what do those who run workplaces really think about their job and evolving role?


Key takeaways

  • In 2021, there was a steady increase in people returning to the workplace. Workplace traffic grew 87% from January to November 2021. Looking at the whole year and taking into consideration holidays and Omicron, traffic was still 41% higher on average than it was at the beginning of 2021. Not only did more employees go into the office throughout the year, there was an increased number of repeat returns – employees who went into the office multiple times a month.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday were the most popular days to work on-site. On average, nearly 60% of all employees came in the middle of the week.
  • With the rise of hot desking, employees planned ahead and reserved specific desks. As the year progressed, employees were more proactive about securing a spot, reserving a desk as many as three days ahead. Of the top five teams to book desks, Engineering was number one with 25% of desk bookings.
  • Companies are banking on new workplace investments. The majority of organisations (58%) invested more in the workplace in 2021 compared to 2020. 40% invested more in conferencing technology; 30% in visitor management solutions; and 25% in security technologies.
  • Employee satisfaction is the measure of success for workplace leaders. The majority of workplace leaders (76%) said their job success hinged on employee satisfaction. Keeping the workplace safe (34%) came in second.
  • The IT industry saw the highest percentage increase in workplace foot traffic at 128%. IT as an industry also led the pack in hot desking with 43% of total desk reservations across industries for the year.


Envoy Report Return to Office


Employees are more intentional about where they work. “It’s no longer employees coming in because they have to be there. They’re coming in because it feels good for them to be back and be around others,” said Kaitlin Lieck, Center Operations Associate at Parsley Health.

Annette Reavis, Chief People Officer at Envoy, added, “What did we learn from last year? That physical workplaces matter. They’ll continue to be a place for people to meet, ideate, socialize, brainstorm, and build connections. There really is no better way to come together and get things done.”

For more insights from workplace leaders and additional data on workplace traffic, budget, and space trends, download the At Work: the 2022 workplace trends report.