During the early days of the pandemic, when many people were forced into a remote modality, surveys showed that the newfound sense of flexibility was preferable to workers and that an overwhelming majority did not want to return to the pre-pandemic world of work that was done almost exclusively in-person in most cases. As a result, the concept of hybrid work has become increasingly popular as companies return to the office because a hybrid modality allows workers to split their time between remote and in-person work. Echoing the surveys, we just cited, almost two and a half years after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, now that companies have finalized or are in process of determining their future work environment, the hybrid modality looks to be a permanent fixture in the world of work.
In fact, the data shows that hybrid work is on the rise.
New data provided by Gallup, released at the end of August, reports on the latest findings in a piece by Ben Wigert and Sangeeta Agrawal, entitled, “Returning to the Office: The Current, Preferred and Future State of Remote Work.”
According to Wigert and Agrawal – Gallup’s Director of Research and Strategy, Workplace Management and Workplace Research Manager, respectively -, “Approximately 56% of full-time employees in the U.S. — more than 70 million workers — say their job can be done working remotely from home. We call them “remote-capable employees.”
As of June 2022, Wigert and Agrawal reported the following data for current work location for “remote-capable” workers.
- Five in 10 are working hybrid (part of their week at home and part on-site)
- Three in 10 are exclusively working remotely
- Two in 10 are entirely on-site
Looking ahead, the Gallup study found that “Hybrid work has increased in 2022 (from 42% in February to 49% in June) and is expected to further increase to 55% of remote-capable workers by the end of 2022 and beyond.” Gallup reports that 60% of remote-capable workers want a “long-term hybrid work arrangement.”
Considering the data we cited from 2020 and today, it is no surprise that many companies are choosing to adopt a hybrid modality. As you consider what is best for your organization, you may be interested to know some of the leading companies, and perhaps competitors, that have made the transition to hybrid and can serve as an inspiration. A CNBC Make It article entitled, “The top 10 companies hiring for hybrid jobs right now, according to new research,” written by work reporter Morgan Smith. Smith cites new data from FlexJobs to share the following list of 10 companies which we found instructive and are sharing with you:
- Robert Half International
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH)
- UnitedHealth Group
- CVS Health
- Grand Canyon Education (GCE)
According to a piece written by Jessica Howington, Senior Content Manger, FlexJobs’ Career Pulse 2022 Survey found that, “nearly a third of working professionals are looking specifically for a hybrid work arrangement—one where they work remotely part of the time and in-office part of the time. And it’s not hard to see why, with 84% of professionals stating that a remote or hybrid job would increase their overall happiness.”
The benefits of hybrid work range from increased flexibility, the opportunity for better work life balance, wider talent pools to recruit from, improved environmental effects, higher productivity rates and even an improved bottom line.
A Forbes piece written by Ivan Ong – CEO and founder of KeaBabies, a baby and maternity lifestyle brand – entitled, “Why Hybrid Work Is The Way To Go,” offers insight into the logic behind the hybrid modality becoming such a popular choice.
Ong writes in part, “Employees who work in a hybrid mode report improvements in work-life balance and mental health. As people have breaks from their daily commute, they have more time to exercise and do things that may improve their well-being. It also allows them to get away from the in-office routine, gain a fresh perspective, reattune their work pace and come back fresh the next day.”
Ong continues on to say, “In my experience, employees have reported that a mid-week chance to work from home allows them to recharge and remain in good spirits throughout the rest of the week, compared to the times they worked full time in the physical office. Hybrid work—along with other humanistic approaches—seems to be the recipe to increase employee well-being and boost productivity.”
Getting Hybrid Right
If you’ve already adopted hybrid work or decided you want to make the switch to hybrid, it’s important to plan ahead and get the transition right.
As part of Hubstar’s “Business Agility in 2022” series, we spoke with Chris L’Hommedieu, Vice
President of Product. L’Hommedieu spoke at length about the negative impact of implementing a hybrid work strategy wrong and explained how data like that provided by Hubstar’s unique product can help you to get it right.
During our interview with L’Hommedieu, he offered the following perspective, “If someone has a bad first impression, that’s hard to overturn. So, if you’re deploying a hybrid strategy and employees are given choice about when they come into the office, it’s a negative experience because (the office) was a ghost town, for example, it was ‘no one there and I’m never coming in, again.’ You don’t want to have that type of experience, so it is extremely important to get it right up front.”
When it comes to the latter point, how data can help to ensure your hybrid transition is done correctly, L’Hommedieu had the following to say:
“Getting hybrid right is really dependent upon being able to measure correctly,” said L’Hommedieu. “Understanding how folks have adapted and changed during the pandemic and accounting for that in your hybrid strategy is extremely important. There are a lot of moving parts and making sure that you’re using data measuring your actual utilization and patterns. Are people coming into the office? You know, and what days are they coming in? How long are they coming in? When they come in are they having a positive experience? Is it trending up? Trending down? Understanding those data points so that you can adjust, adapt and overcome is hugely important.”