Owl Labs debuted the Meeting Owl in the summer of 2017. The device is a standalone smart speaker with a 360-degree camera on top. It integrates with Zoom, Skype and other videoconferencing services, and places the person speaking in a meeting front-and-center on everyone's screen. Mark Schnittman, chief technology officer for Owl Labs, told Venture Beat that the first edition of Meeting Owl is light on features because the company doesn't yet know what users want. But the data is trickling in quickly.
The State of Remote Work 2019 report by Owl Labs was released last month. It surveyed 1,202 U.S. workers to gauge attitudes and gather raw data related to telecommuting. The company shifted its focus this year from the 2018 Global State of Remote Work report that surveyed workers from around the world. The two surveys, however, found some interesting trends. Among U.S. workers, 30% reported working remotely full-time, compared to 18% of workers around the world. C-Level executives and upper management were 34% more likely to work remotely than those in lower positions.
Your office furniture setup is dictated by your industry and company culture. But the Owl Labs data show that some industries are more in need of office design overhauls than others.
Healthcare workers compromised nearly 1 in 5 (17%) of the total survey population. Thus the data from that industry is somewhat skewed. Tech workers compromised only 6% of the overall survey population, but had the second-most full-time remote workers of all industries. Financial services and education also ranked high for telecommuters.
Workers in these industries are typically hybrid employees who split time between the office and home. The survey found that 40% of companies across the globe are hybrid firms. These companies typically have open office workstations where few people are assigned permanent desks. Standing desks are also popular with hybrid companies. Workers accustomed to working from home may want to sit half the day and use a standing desk after lunch while in the office.
Make the office a welcoming and productive place. Workers grow accustomed to working from home. They'll feel less forced into an office that provides a comfortable, collaborative environment.
Online education and customer service are fast becoming the norm in the United States. Overall college enrollment declined by 90,000 students from 2016-17, a 0.5% decrease, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But the number of students who enrolled in at least one online course rose by 5.7% in that same time period. Meanwhile the customer support teams for large companies like Amazon, U-Haul and Concentrix are mostly telecommute workers. But customer service, education and retail still represented the greatest concentration of on-site workers in the Owl survey.
Companies with large in-house workforces should invest in office lounge furniture and ergonomic office furniture for their employees. Remote workers were 29% more likely to be happy with their jobs than on-site workers. The global economy makes talent acquisition and retention tough in all industries. Taking care of workers with little perks shows that you care about them and encourages them to remain loyal to your company.
Eco Office designs offices for both hybrid companies and those with fully on-site workforces. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to speak to one of our project managers.