Why the Future of Work is Hybrid
Many companies are currently faced with tough decisions on the future of how they work. Some employers want their workforce back in the office, while employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home. A blend of these options, the hybrid work model, is gaining popularity, with 63% of high-growth companies adopting a hybrid work system where employees can decide where and how they work best.
Hybrid work has countless variations. One company might allow every employee the flexibility to work on-site and remotely part of the week. While other companies might have employees working either full-time remote or full-time on-site.
To better the world of hybrid work, we turned to Udemy instructor Hassan Osman, a project manager with over 15 years of experience in managing virtual teams. In this article, Hassan’s insights from a recent Udemy Business webinar help us understand why the working world is going hybrid.
1. Hybrid contains the best of both worlds
Working at home full time can offer great flexibility, but it also can be isolating. You miss out on face to face time with coworkers to bounce ideas off each other, collaborate on projects or just grab a coffee casually. What if you could have the best of both worlds? Enter the hybrid work model.
Recent Microsoft research revealed that 73% of its employees want flexible remote work to continue, but 67% also wanted more in-person time with their teams. Google has announced its shift to a hybrid work model, expecting around 60% of its employees to be on a flexible work setup, with 20% working from home, and 20% physically present in office locations.
Here are a few more examples of the advantages of hybrid work:
- Increased productivity: Flexible workers utilize their time better. They can choose to avoid commuting, fully focus on tasks without the noise and interruptions of the office, and choose to work when they’re feeling most productive, whether that’s in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning
- Employee happiness: Being able to dress casually, cook more, and spend time with loved ones all contribute to this boost in well-bein.
- Lowered costs: In a hybrid office, there’s no need for rows of assigned desks and costly office space. Once your company knows how many employees will be in the office at any time, you can plan around new occupancy levels to cut down on the cost of rent, office supplies, and other business expenses.
2. Employers and employees expect (and prefer) hybrid
As more statistics and surveys crop up, one unifying sentiment holds true across many industries, employers and employees not only expect a hybrid work model, they prefer it. An IDEO U survey of almost 1,000 respondents found that 86% of people expect their organization to adopt a hybrid work structure in 2021. While 15% of people would like their organization to be fully remote, only 7% think that will really happen.
It makes sense for an increasing number of organizations to adopt hybrid work as it not only helps business continuity, but also helps businesses stay agile and resilient to external factors in the future.
3. Not offering hybrid arrangements means losing valuable talent
There has been much talk about The Great Resignation this year. One increasingly certain way to lose talented employees is to not offer them a hybrid work arrangement. During the pandemic, people got a taste of what remote working feels like, they saw the benefits, and proved that productivity is not reserved solely for in person work.
Bloomberg highlights that around 39% of surveyed workers would consider quitting if employers were not flexible with work arrangements. Among Millennials and Gen Z, that number jumps to 49%. By the same token, organizations who recognize and embrace a flexible, hybrid model will not only have better retention, but will have an easier time continuing to attract top talent.
Going hybrid for a successful future
The pandemic gave many employees a sample of remote work. Turns out, a good number of them enjoyed the benefits of increased productivity, limited commute time, and overall better work-life balance. Considering the skills gap and talent shortage, employers need to seriously consider hybrid work as a retention and attraction tactic. For more insights into the hybrid work model, watch Hassan in A 4-Part Framework for Building a Hybrid Workplace.