Digiday+ Research: Half of agency professionals are back in the office full-time

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As we go through the year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the advertising industry is leaning a little more towards the pre-pandemic lifestyle: people are heading to more events this fall, and many are even finally returning to the office, according to data from Digiday+ Research.

Last week, we provided an update on the progress of the work on the publisher side. This week, we look at the results of several surveys of agency professionals that took place between the second quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of this year – and find a very different RTO picture.

Digiday’s surveys found that the state of work for agencies is in the office: nearly half of agency professionals this summer said they had gone to the office for full-time work in the past month, down from a measly 7% a year and one six months ago, while 42% said they are now ready to go into the office full-time next month, down from 12% in the second quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said they had not been to the office full-time in the past year was just over half this summer (51%), compared to 76% in Q2 last year .

Digiday’s survey also found that agency professionals’ desire to be back in the office full-time is consistent: the percentage of respondents who said they don’t want to go to the office full-time next year remained fairly stable for a year and a half.

While the percentage of agencies that have returned to full-time office work hovers around half, Digiday surveys found that those working at least a hybrid schedule have skyrocketed over the past year and half. Even in the second quarter of last year, nearly a third of agency professionals said they had been to the office at least once in the past month. This summer, that percentage has risen to almost 90%.

This makes sense given the collaborative nature of agency work, which was also reflected in the (very low) percentage of respondents who said they did not want to go to the office even once in the following year: second quarter of 2021, only 3% of agency professionals said so, and only 4% said so in the third quarter of this year.

At the same time, the percentage of agency professionals who said they had not been to the office once in the past year fell from 38% a year and a half ago to just 7% this summer. And the percentage of those who said they would be willing to go to the office at least once in the next month has never dipped below 50% (the lowest in the second quarter of last year), but has increased to 82% this quarter.

Based on these findings, it’s no surprise that Digiday’s surveys also found that agency professionals’ appetite for in-person business meetings hasn’t waned over the past year and a half. : The percentage of respondents who said they would not want to attend an in-person meeting next year has fluctuated very slightly between only 1% and 2% since the second quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who are ready to attend an in-person meeting the following month was up 84% in the third quarter of 2022, up from 41% in the second quarter of last year.

And agencies are following through on their willingness to attend in-person meetings: a year and a half ago, only 12% of respondents said they’d gone to an in-person meeting in the past month, while 59% said they had not been there. to one over the past year. This summer, 69% of agency professionals said they had attended an in-person meeting in the past month, while the percentage who said they had not done so in the past year fell to only 11%.

Digiday+ Research: Half of agency pros are back in the office full-time

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