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Much speculation has occurred about the current state of the workplace. Some companies are thriving, while others are still struggling with the transition to flexible work practices.

In discussion with Allwork.Space’s Future of Work Podcast, CBRE Global Head of Occupier Research Julie Whelan discusses the state of the workplace and why there is a divide between what employees and employers want.  

“We are in the fall period and as we predicted, there has been an uptick in office usage. But we also predicted that that uptick was probably not going to meet the expectations that many organizations had for the fall period,” said Whelan. 

“Now, when you think about fall…are we in the COVID period? Are we post-COVID? Where are we? And it feels like life is back to normal everywhere but the office right now.” 

The lack of clarity in exactly where the workforce is at comes from a gap in communication according to Whelan, who says that the “why” of being in the office has yet to be pinned down.  

“Many, many employees that are out there right now just simply believe that they can do their job from anywhere successfully.” 

The solution to this? Another trend that has formally made its way into the work lexicon: a comfortable hybrid workplace. 

However, this requires an upheaval in normal training processes. Prior to the pandemic, most managers knew only one way to lead, but the distribution of employees has complicated once well-established leadership.   

“With this world of hybrid work that we’re in, the reason that we’re here is because people want more autonomy and more freedom over how they work. And what that means is that they have to understand, ‘What is my directive?’” Whelan added. 

“There needs to be a feedback loop that is giving them constructive advice and criticism and success stories around whether or not that feedback is being met and their goals are being met. And that means that there needs to be much more often communication between managers and employees than ever before.” 

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