NAI Global Remote and Hybrid Work Trends Survey

nai global remote and hybrid work trends survey

NAI Global has released survey results on the impact of remote and hybrid work trends from its international offices in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Easily one of the most unique aspects and consequences of the pandemic has been the work-from-home phenomenon (WFH), or as we eventually adopted, related phrases such as work-from-anywhere, digital nomad, or simply, remote and hybrid work. None of us working today, or in the history of the modern workforce, have been forced to operate office-oriented businesses and tasks from anywhere but the office - traveling salesmen, deal-making M&A professionals, auditors and others are obvious exceptions. By late summer of 2020 and the early stages of lockdowns, stories about the new working trend began appearing in all matters of media and they have not let up.

After a recent story ran in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that was principally focused on remote and hybrid work trends in Europe and Asia, and its impact on office markets across the world, NAI Global reached out to more than 1,000 of its brokerage, management and property consultant specialists and professionals throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Coincidentally, as the survey results were being compiled into narrative form, Bloomberg Intelligence released its own report on remote work's impact on European office markets.

According to the WSJ, more Americans embraced remote work and turned their backs on offices, with U.S. office occupancy rates ranging from 40% to 60% in America's largest cities. These figures, usually attributed to Kastle Systems, the card-swipe company, are good benchmarks for office occupancy rates in general, though since the company started publishing its data, we've advised that the metrics may not show the whole picture. They are believable, yes, but slightly flawed because most American office workers don't work in the 10 major markets which Kastle Systems tracks. Thus, in accordance with our internal polling of NAI Global offices in the lower 48 states (where there are approximately 225 NAI Global U.S. offices), we believe that cities in every quadrant of the U.S. have more people working from offices than not.

Looking abroad, the WSJ reported that office occupancy rates in Europe and the Middle East are running 70% to 90%, and even higher in Asia, where rates ranged from 80% to 110%, which means that in some cases and places, more people have been coming to the office lately than before the pandemic.

There are a myriad of reasons and explanations for these different data readings and WSJ pointed some of them out, including cultural differences, commute times, and living arrangements, among them. They are not unlike what we found in our survey of NAI Global professionals outside of the U.S. Here's a summary of a few responses received after our email query, with attribution to responders and their respective cities and countries.


"In Frankfurt, one of Europe's most important financial centers, there is an ongoing "war for talent" and as a result, employers are aware that they have to compete with each for that talent. As a result, more and more companies are asking themselves, 'how do I design my office to encourage and attract our people to return to the office?' It is such a central issue that "working from home" has become an important element for employees of all ages. Therefore, it is not surprising that employees are averaging 1.4 days per week at their home offices, and this is prevalent throughout Germany. According to official statistics, Germany is thus below the global average. However, the modern office itself remains an essential factor for corporate identity, that sense of "we" and, above all, communication among employees. Pre-Covid, everything was done to significantly improve communication within companies through new working environments; it is precisely this communication, which is so important, that is reduced to a minimum through "working from home."

Andreas Krone, CEO, NAI Director, NAI apollo, Frankfurt, Germany

"In Hungary, hybrid work arrangements continue to be enforced, with a majority of office workers being guaranteed an average minimum of two days per week to work from home. However, in the case of Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and Shared Service Centers (SSCs), it is not uncommon for employees to have the opportunity to work from home for three days per week. The option to work remotely has become a crucial component of the employee compensation package, and employers who are less accommodating of this trend may face higher levels of employee turnover and difficulty in attracting new talent. As a result, office tenants have relinquished, on average, 20% of their previous office space."

Erika Loska, Head of Leasing Services, Partner, NAI CELand, Budapest, Hungary

NAI Global Takeaway: European business leaders appear to face similar challenges to their American counterparts - even though unemployment is higher in Europe, on average, than in the U.S., and mainly there is competition for the best employees. On the importance of collaboration, again the business culture in Europe favors high levels of inter-connectivity between employees. However, when it comes to business task work, whether it is inputting data, accounting and administrative process work, which can easily be done remotely, the scale tips toward greater remote work. That has been true in the U.S., with 'coders,' or the tech employees that spend much of their time in front of monitors, being the most vocal about their strong preference for remote working arrangements.


"In Luanda, the capital city of Angola, despite the difficult commuting, professionals have returned to their workplaces at a high rate. The intermittent internet connections outside of the city are effectively encouraging office-based professionals to return to their offices, where web connectivity tends to be stronger and more powerful."

Nuno Serrenho, Principal, NAI Altys Africa, Luanda, Angola

NAI Global Takeaway: Mr. Serrenho's quote speaks for itself, infrastructure is an issue in certain places of the world and office-based work certainly requires high quality internet access. (Similarly, no one is setting up headquarters facilities in certain interior states of the U.S. because cell service can be spotty in many of the plains states and locations). Commuting is the biggest deterrent to higher rates of office occupancy in America's biggest cities, as well as other large metros throughout the world, yet most of these large metros have good internet access within a 100+ radius of them.


"China started with strict lockdowns in January 2022 so when people did return to work, they were happy to do so. Despite some of the obvious tradeoffs - commuting in rush-hour traffic, for example, most people in mega-cities live in smaller apartments so going to an office provides a relief from that. Besides, culturally being out-and-about is something people like to do here - dressing up, wearing fine jewelry, shopping and taking business lunches. There is also normal human pride in doing good work and feeling like something was accomplished at the office. Fortunately for most office workers, they like being there, because at this time most Chinese companies are only offering remote work one day a week. Yet beyond the requirement to the return to the offices, managers feel strongly that there is increased efficiency in being face-to-face - to share ideas and experience in an informal and casual way, as well as to develop and grow company culture."

Bjarne Bauer, SIOR, Managing Partner-Commercial Real Estate Transactions, NAI Sofia Group, Shanghai, China

New Zealand and Australia

Opinions on remote and hybrid work diverged in two of the most prominent Asia Pacific markets for NAI Global, and much of it appears to be from city (or market) size, and driven by commute times - or the lack thereof.

According to Andrew Bruce, the office workplace has changed forever. Hybrid working models are here to stay as businesses juggle their desire to get employees back in the office against employees' demands to continue working from home. Compromise is the new norm with work-from-home options i.e., 1-2 days per week now common. Office space is being redefined, Bruce continued, and employees don't miss coming into the office, what they do miss is the social contact and personal collaboration etc. There is much greater emphasis now placed on improving office design with businesses seeking bigger kitchen areas, breakout rooms, collaborative lounges etc. - all designed to give employees a reason to want to come into the office.

Andrew Bruce, Branch Manager/Business Owner, NAI Harcourts, North Shore/Auckland, New Zealand

"New Zealand had a very quick response to the threat posed by Covid 19 with our government forcing the country into a total lockdown on 25 March 2020 and again on 21 August 2021. We all got to work from home with many predicting a change to remote working. Whangarei has a population of around 100,000 residents so we don't have any real traffic issues with most people being able to commute between work and home in 15-to-20 minutes time. Companies here did not take long to realise the disconnect and lack of collaborative thinking resulted in a negative impact on the productivity for their businesses. The result we have experienced is an in increased demand for good office space which is exceeding supply. We still have ample second-rate space but not so many takers for this; this is wholly due to the poor quality of the office space itself. While working from home is an ideological concept it has not worked in reality for us."

Peter Peeters, Commercial and Industrial Specialist, NAI Harcourts, Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand

"Post Covid, we have noticed a rather large decline in the demand for office space in our commercial sector. I believe that Covid in a way made corporations and smaller businesses alike realise that they can run their business' successfully whilst having their staff work from home and save large sums of money in fit-outs, outgoings and of course rent for properties. We are seeing office spaces, namely on the first floor that will really only work as an office space and have no other desired uses - they will stay on the market for extended periods of time, up to 12 months, in a market that previously had such a high demand."

Jack Maunder, Commercial Sales, Leasing & Management, NAI Harcourts, Greater Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

"Around Australian capital markets, the return to in-office work has appeared to be considerably faster than many international peers. Most markets are reporting between 70-80% of pre-pandemic levels. Despite this statistic, what does appear to still be at play is the hybrid/work from home (WFH) "some days" model. This trend does leave a somewhat ghostly feel in some of the high street offices, where there appears to be a much bigger push back from employees who have enjoyed the WFH model. Australia's two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne appear to be grappling with this problem the hardest with many CBD retailers experiencing and reporting lower foot traffic and reduced retail sales. The recovery is underway, but it still has some bumps in the road ahead."

Jason Luckhardt, National Manager, NAI Harcourts, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Final Takeaway and Conclusion: Like other markets, there is some bias toward wanting the return to office work numbers to be greater. People in offices make the areas around their buildings more robust and dynamic. Plus, the NAI Global responders all work in the real estate industry, after all, so they are intrinsically motivated to see office demand increase. City density and living standards, city sizes and commute times clearly are driving issues in relation to WFH preferences in the Asia-Pacific region, just as they are in the U.S. and Europe. Another commonality is that landlord and property owners have recognized the need to invest in their office buildings, and for occupiers and tenants to do so as well, by retrofitting interiors and making office space more welcoming, collaborative, and ultimately, attractive. These are universal sentiments from NAI Global professionals, regardless of city, continent and culture.

Federal Realty Named a Top Workplace

federal realty named a top workplace

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) has been named to The Washington Post's 2023 Top Workplaces list for its leadership in employee satisfaction for the second sequential year. The esteemed list acknowledges the top workplaces in the D.C. area based exclusively on employee feedback.

"We're grateful to our remarkable team for their trust and dedication," stated Don Wood, CEO of Federal Realty. "Together, we will continue to build a workplace that inspires and empowers success for the long term."

In collaboration with research firm Energage, The Washington Post chose the winning companies by analyzing survey responses from over 65,000 employees in the region. The participants provided ratings for various aspects of their organizations, including culture, communication, ethics, diversity and inclusion, work/life balance, change management, and career growth and development.

Federal Realty has a long history of cultivating workplace excellence. In 2023, the company was deemed one of the Best Places to Work in Virginia by Virginia Business Magazine & Best Companies Group, while acknowledged its Philadelphia Office as a top Retail Influencer. The firm also received Aetna's Gold Level Workplace Well-being Award for its efforts in building a culture of health and wellness and was named the Best and Brightest in Wellness Winner for its dedication to creating a sustainable culture of wellbeing for team members in 2022.

Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail-based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, Federal Realty's mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Its expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities. Federal Realty's 102 properties include approximately 3,200 tenants in 26 million square feet, and approximately 3,100 residential units.

Federal Realty has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders for 55 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P 500 index member and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit

24 Seven Named One of America's Best Staffing Firms

24 seven named one of americas best staffing firms

24 Seven, a leading staffing agency specializing in creative and marketing, has been recognized as one of America's Best Recruiting and Temporary Staffing Firms of 2023 by Forbes. This prestigious honor marks the seventh time 24 Seven has been distinguished by Forbes, solidifying its position as a top industry leader.

The award, presented by Forbes in partnership with Statista Inc., the world's leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider, is based on an independent survey of peers and clients. This year's survey invited more than 36,400 external recruiters and 9,200 HR managers/hiring managers and candidates to participate, making this recognition a true testament to 24 Seven's excellence in the industry.

Anthony Donnarumma, CEO of 24 Seven, expressed his gratitude for the award, stating, "What an honor to once again see our name on Forbes' list of the best staffing and recruiting firms in the country. Our 24 Seven team is dedicated to providing outstanding service to our clients and candidates, and this latest honor is a testament to that commitment."

Additionally, 24 Seven was the recipient of ClearlyRated's 2023 Best of Staffing Talent Award earlier this year, further solidifying their commitment to providing superior service to candidates.

About 24 Seven

24 Seven is a specialized recruitment agency that builds future-proof teams of top full-time and freelance talent for leading brands and agencies in the marketing, digital, creative, and technology sectors. 24 Seven further supports its clients through its family of specialized subsidiaries. The Sage Group represents marketing consultants, contractors, and permanent talent, and has created a leading community of top marketing executives, Marketers That Matter®, which meets to share marketing innovation and insights. Creatis and Antenna boost the productivity of marketing, digital, creative, and communications teams through on-site and outsourced talent solutions. Simplicity Consulting offers marketing project & program management and strategic communications consultants.

Business Success with Education Sessions October 17-20

business success with education sessions

Trends like electrification of equipment and the love affair Americans have with their backyards are continuing, and Equip Exposition, the international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment exposition held October 17-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), is the place for landscape contractors and outdoor power equipment dealers to make the most of them with the help of the industry's best and brightest educators.

"We listened to what past attendees wanted—more education on key trends that will impact the industry and their businesses. We heard you and we're going to deliver," said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which owns and manages Equip Expo. "We've bringing in the best of the best education experts that landscape contractors and outdoor power equipment dealers have asked for."

Equip Expo attendees can expect a diverse range of educational offerings in 2023 including sessions taught by experts as well as hands-on demonstrations, such as new "power sessions" with expert Don Rheem on how to apply neuroscience to better understand customers and teams, help attendees take their businesses to the next level, and retain employees.

Back by popular demand will be tree care demonstrations given by certified arborists in a real tree erected in Freedom Hall.

Landscaper education will be provided by Landscape Management Magazine. Other landscape education partners this year include: Hardscape North America, the Professional Grounds Management Society, the Irrigation Association, the Pool and Hot Tub Association, the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals, the Women's Tree Climbing Workshop and Davey Tree Expert Company.

Outdoor power equipment dealers can expect more sessions to help with management and profitmaking, as well as technician training. A new session will review diagnosing and repairing robotic and autonomous mowers. Dealer education partners include: Bob Clements International, Power Equipment Trade magazine, the North American Equipment Dealers Association, and the Equipment and Engine Training Council.

A keynote session for all attendees with polar explorer Ben Saunders, a three-time main stage TED speaker and master storyteller, will leave attendees inspired for their own great challenges.

Equip Exposition, the international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment exposition, is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the largest annual trade show in the United States. The show publishes equip magazine and is owned and managed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an international trade association representing manufacturers of outdoor power equipment, parts, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, and their suppliers.