How do Government Agency Workplace Priorities Compare Against the Private Sector?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

According to Gartner, worldwide government IT spending is expected to grow 6.8% in 2023 totalling $588.9B in an effort to modernize aging IT systems and to invest in tech that more closely matches online and digital interactions within the private sector. In this blog, we look at which workplace management tech investments government agencies want to take advantage of the most, what their top workplace priorities are, and how they compare with the private sector from our  2022 Refocus and Rationalize the Workplace study. We also highlight three customers in government using FM:Systems solutions to help them deliver workplaces that are productive, secure, and optimized for their people and for real estate cost savings.

How many government agencies have embraced hybrid work?

It’s well known by now that the hybrid workplace has become the clear work model of choice for many businesses – 51.6% according to our survey. The reasons are different for each business, but most are embracing hybrid because it provides a better work-life balance, increases job satisfaction, improves retention and productivity, and in many cases offers the opportunity to make a more efficient use of the workplace and reduce major real estate expenses.

So how does this compare with the private sector? According to our study, government agencies are:

  • 53.5% full-time in the office
  • 41.9%  hybrid (working anywhere from 1-4 days/week)
  • 4.7% fully remote

The takeaway? Approximately the same amount of public and private organizations have adopted hybrid work. The biggest difference in work models, however, was when it came down to full-time in-office vs. fully remote teams; respondents at businesses have fewer employees working in the office full-time (30%) and have a higher number of fully remote employees (about 18%) when compared to government workplaces.

What are government entities’s top 3 real estate and workplace priorities in the next 1-3 years?

Of the government agency leaders surveyed…

  • 40% consider reducing real estate expenses as a top priority in the next 1-3 years
  • 30% plan to downsize their real estate footprint
  • 35% prioritizing investing in the right workspace aligned with the culture and mission of their organization.

And how does this compare with the private sector? Business leaders at companies said:

  • 43% consider reducing real estate expenses as a top priority in the next 1-3 years
  • 35% plan to expand their real estate footprint
  • 31% want to invest in the right workspace aligned with the culture and mission of their organization.


The takeaway? Not surprisingly, with the economic slowdown and opportunities for making workplaces more efficient, both public and private leaders consider reducing real estate expenses their #1 priority. Among their top three priorities, they both are focusing on delivering the right workplace that matches their organization’s culture and mission.

The most notable difference in priorities was growing or rightsizing their real estate footprint. For 30% of government agency leaders, downsizing is a must; meanwhile, over 1 in 3 leaders in the private sector plan to expand their real estate footprint!

What are the top uses for the workplace?

Of the government agency leaders surveyed, the top 4 uses of their workplaces today are for:

  • #1 Team meetings (56%)
  • #2: Collaborative work (49%)
  • #3: Client /partner meetings (37%)
  • #4: Onboarding new hires (30%)

And for business leaders surveyed, their top 4 uses for the workplace include:

  • #1 Team meetings (54%)
  • #2: Collaborative work (45%)
  • #3: Client/partner meetings (37%)
  • #4: Onboarding new hires (31%)

The takeaway? The value of today’s workplace, regardless if it’s in the private or public sector, is NOT for commuting into a physical space only to work side by side on individualized work; rather, it’s to bring people together for interactions and work best done in-person: meetings, collaborative work (e.g., brainstorming sessions), and onboarding news employees.

Do government entities trust their workplace data to inform future real estate and workplace changes?

  • While 70% of government agency leaders reported saying they are currently using a workplace management system, only 1 in 4  were “very confident” in the accuracy of workplace and real estate data they were collecting.
  • This is likely because ~83% of government agencies say they lack utilization (42%) and space (41%) data to confidently make workplace and real estate decisions.

How does this compare with the workplace data business leaders in the private sector are collecting?

  • 67% of respondents confirmed they are currently using a workplace management solution, and almost 1 in 3 were “very confident” with the accuracy of the workplace data to inform strategic real estate and workplace decisions.
  • And about 86% of business leaders say they lack utilization data (44%) and 31% lack space data

The takeaway? Regardless of their shared or different real estate and workplace priorities, without reliable utilization and space data, many organizations across both sectors are risking making big, often costly real estate decisions.

What are 3 functions government agencies would like to spend LESS time on, IF they had the right workplace management solution in place?

Of the government agency leaders surveyed, the three functions leaders at government agencies would like to spend LESS time on with the right workplace management solution included:

  • #1: Ensuring there are enough desks/rooms for employees to use (47%)
  • #2: Manually tracking employee attendance (40%)
  • #3: Manually tracking visitor traffic (37%)

Meanwhile, business leaders at companies within the private sector said they would love to spend less time on the following three functions:

  • #1: Manually tracking employee attendance (41%)
  • #2: Manually tracking visitor attendance (39%)
  • #3: Space planning (34%)

The takeaway? It appears that more organizations within the private sector have already adopted a room reservation and desk booking system; however both sectors admitted they are still manually tracking employee and visitor attendance.

Manually tracking attendance can work just fine for small and medium-sized businesses, but according to our survey…

  • Nearly 84% of the business leaders (private sector) are manually tracking attendance have over 200 employees. And a lucky 13% with 10,000 or more employees confirmed they are still using spreadsheets or clipboards to manually track their people’s attendance.
  • 100% of the government leader agencies that said they are manually tracking attendance have over 200 employees; and 15% manually tracking attendance have 10,000 or more employees

Our workplace management solutions are used by over 150 government institutions, including 10 of the 15 federal government departments. Take a look at how three of our government customers – Cumbria County, Health Education England and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) are using different FM:Systems solutions to gain the data-backed insights needed to deliver productive workplace experiences, while also identifying major real estate cost reduction opportunities.

Check out our resource library for Government agencies > 

Recent Blog Posts
Recent News Articles

Related Posts

Clear Filters
The Hybrid Workplace of the Future
Reading Time: < 1 minute
The Future of Work for Government Agencies
Reading Time: < 1 minute
Inside the Workplace Report for Government
Reading Time: < 1 minute
Unraveling Smart Buildings- Sustainability, Health, and Security Integration: Ep 15
Reading Time: 2 minutes