10 Interesting Workplace Facts That You Didn’t Know

Discover 12 fascinating facts about the workplace that will surprise you and change the way you think about work.

People spend a lot of time at work every week, so it’s worth paying attention to how it’s changing. Since 2020, many companies started letting employees work remotely, partly at home, or with flexible schedules. This means both bosses and workers are dealing with new ways of doing things.

Balance between work and personal life is becoming more important to everyone, no matter their job. After the pandemic, people are focusing more on their well-being and mental health, and businesses are thinking more about how to keep going in a sustainable way.

Let’s look at some interesting and fun facts about work productivity, working from home, and the latest workplace trends in 2024. We’ll also check out some psychological facts about how work affects our minds.

1. The average worker spends over 90,000 hours working over their lifetime, so finding job and workplace satisfaction matters 

Workers spend a lot of time working – more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime!

According to a big consulting company called McKinsey & Company, the average person spends about 90,000 hours working throughout their life. That’s a huge chunk of time! So, it’s not surprising that whether we like our jobs or not can have a big impact on our lives.

So, how can we be happy and satisfied with our work? Annie McKee, who wrote a book called “How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship,” has been studying this. She says there’s a kind of formula for it:

Career happiness = (Freedom + Challenge + Balance – Stress) x Meaning

Sarah Archer, a career coach, agrees with McKee’s formula. She says, “Employers are starting to realize that happy employees are better at their jobs. But more importantly, we’re seeing for ourselves how our work affects our mental health.”

2. Dress code and workplace productivity are not mutually exclusive: 61% of employees are more productive when the dress code is more casual

Businesses started allowing casual dress on Fridays in 2018 because research indicated that employees work better when they feel comfortable. This trend continued, especially during the pandemic when working from home became common. But now, with different work models, some companies struggle to find the right balance between what employees want and what the company stands for.

During the pandemic, the line between casual and business casual became blurred. While wearing pajamas might have been okay during video calls before, it’s not acceptable anymore, whether working remotely, in a hybrid setup, or at the office. Reintroducing a business casual dress code benefits both employers and employees.

Workplace specialist and attorney Rudi Julius emphasizes the importance of companies adapting to hybrid work while ensuring that employees maintain a clean, neat, and professional appearance that aligns with the company’s image and is acceptable to clients.

3. Video conferencing and video meetings are here to stay: Video calls on Microsoft Teams have increased 1000% since the pandemic

Video meetings using tools like Microsoft Teams have become a big part of how we work, especially since the pandemic. There’s been a huge increase in their use, with video calls on Teams going up by 1000%. These tools help us connect with colleagues from all over the world without needing to travel.

Microsoft Teams, for example, has over 280 million users. It lets us chat online, share files, and use all the usual office tools we need. This makes it much easier to collaborate, even if we’re not in the same place.

Because of this, more and more organizations are using video meetings and conferences. They’re a great way to work together and build relationships. With features like chat, file sharing, and calendar integration, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular.

4. Activity-based working boosts employee workplace satisfaction and productivity

Activity-Based Working (ABW) is a way of working where employees can use different spaces and technologies for different tasks, like meetings, chats, or focused work.

With hybrid and flexible work, ABW lets companies have shared workspaces instead of each person having their own desk. This works as long as there’s a system to book desks, rooms, and other spaces.

Research by Veldhoen + Company shows that switching to ABW can make employees happier at work, with a 17% increase in satisfaction. It also boosts productivity, with individuals being 13% more productive and teams being 8% more productive.

5. Hybrid work models are used by most high-growth companies in 2024

Most people don’t want to go back to working full-time in an office. Only 2 out of 10 employees who can work remotely are still working completely in the office. And it’s likely to stay that way, with just 6% wanting to return to the office full-time in the future.

Hybrid work, which means a mix of working from home and the office, is becoming more common. Around 63% of rapidly growing companies are sticking with this model. So, it looks like hybrid work is going to be around for a while.

Not listening to what workers want about hybrid work could cause problems. When people can’t work where they prefer, they’re less engaged in their job. They also feel more stressed and want to quit more often. It’s important for them to feel comfortable in their work environment so they can do their best work and live a happier life.

6. The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on jobs is expected to be a net positive over the next 4 years

A recent study by the IMF in 2024 found that AI could affect nearly 40% of jobs worldwide. Robots and automated tasks are becoming more common at work. They handle repetitive and simple jobs, giving employees more time for important tasks. Examples include chatbots, language models like ChatGPT, and systems that help automate processes, such as robotic processing assistants (RPA).

Even though robots and AI are increasingly important, human interaction remains crucial at work. Humans possess unique abilities like critical thinking and emotions that machines can’t replicate. While there’s been a long-standing worry about machines replacing humans since the 1800s, humans have always found ways to stay relevant. Most AI and robots still need human input, interaction, and maintenance to function effectively.

According to Eric Dahlin, a sociology professor at BYU, new technologies are often adopted without considering the real-world challenges like cultural differences, economic factors, and government regulations. His research shows that only a small percentage of workers have seen their jobs replaced by AI. Additionally, the World Economic Forum predicts that AI will create more jobs than it replaces over the next four years.

The World Economic Forum’s 2023 report highlights that advancements like agriculture technologies, digital platforms, e-commerce, digital trade, and AI will disrupt the job market. While some jobs may be lost, many new ones will be created, resulting in a net increase in employment opportunities.

7. Remote working continues to trend in the US: 12% of workers are fully remote, and 28% are hybrid

Every month, economists from Stanford University and the University of Chicago survey 10,000 American workers to learn about their jobs. This survey, called the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes, started in 2020.

The latest study focused on how many people work from home. It discovered that more people work from home in big cities than in smaller ones. Also, there are fewer jobs where people can work fully from home than what employees want.

The study found that remote work is more common in certain industries like technology, finance, and professional services. It also found that workers spend more time on training when they work in an office, which is interesting information from the Economic Forum’s report in 2023.

8. Email volume: 347.3 billion emails are sent each day across the globe – with more on the way

More emails are being sent every day. In 2022, about 333.2 billion emails were sent daily. It’s predicted that next year, this number will grow to 376 billion, which is around a 13% increase.

On average, a worker receives about 121 emails each day and sends out about 40. Emails can sometimes feel overwhelming. Are they really helping us work better, or are they just causing interruptions?

Research from UC Berkeley shows that we’re interrupted at work every 8 minutes. With interruptions happening so often, it’s no surprise that many of us are trying to find new ways to be more productive.

9. 76% of employees who currently work hybrid want to continue with this model

Many people like hybrid work because it helps them balance work and personal life better. Our study found that less time spent commuting and being able to manage home life were the top benefits. 7 out of 10 workers think companies that offer hybrid work care about their needs. Giving the option for hybrid work makes employees feel more valued for their mental and emotional health. 69% of office workers, whether they work from home, have a hybrid schedule, or are in the office all the time, agree that hybrid work shows employers care about their well-being and productivity. This goes up to 76% for those who already have hybrid schedules. The numbers show that employees really want to keep the hybrid model.

10. 45% of US employees see going to the office as a means to improve relationships with colleagues, clients, and vendors

We asked 6,000 leaders and employees worldwide about their thoughts on the workplace. In the US, here’s what caught our eye:

  • 45% view the office as a place to meet colleagues, clients, and vendors.
  • 36% believe being in the office improves company culture.
  • 35% rely on the office for a productive and well-equipped environment.
  • 32% think going to the office helps with work-life balance.

Human connection is crucial. The office is essential for fostering company culture, mainly because it allows people to connect with each other. Without people interacting, there wouldn’t be a workplace culture at all.