Wednesday October 12, 2022
The future of working from home does not look very bright as more and more companies choose to return to the office. Remote work seems to be falling out of favor with employers and even employees, but will it take hybrid models along with it? Is hybrid work doomed?
A lot of the workforce seems to want hybrid work policies or a work from home day in their job environment. In this report, you will find out why this might be the case. This article will answer some of the most asked questions about the hybrid model including what hybrid remote work is and what a hybrid work schedule looks like. As more companies adopt hybrid work policies, it’s important to understand the statistics and facts behind this growing trend.
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Even though remote working technology has existed for decades now, any transition remained limited until the COVID-19 pandemic, when remote working became the status quo. Since then, remote work has been on a decline. According to a Statista poll, 45% of respondents said they worked remotely in 2022 compared to 74% in December 2020 during the peak of the pandemic. Moreover, those choosing to work remotely have to deal with increased bias or less trust by employers, according to about half of the respondents in an international Owl Labs survey.
Looking at these trends, it’s easy to understand why remote work is declining. But why might this be? Well, remote work has never been for everyone. About 8 out of 10 workers under 35 reported fearing loneliness from working from home long-term.
However, just as remote work seems to be dying off, another model is taking its place: the hybrid work model. Since 2019, hybrid working has increased from 32% to a projected 53% in 2022 for the US. Companies are increasingly adopting a hybrid model, with initiatives such as the work from home day.
The hybrid work model is a policy that allows employees to split their time between working in the office and working from home. This model has become increasingly popular in recent years as it combines the best of both worlds for both employers and employees.
For example, it can help to improve work-life balance as a result of employees having more flexibility over when and where they work, which can make it easier to manage other commitments outside of work. At the same time, it still allows employees to benefit from an office environment when needed.
For employers, the hybrid work model can also save money. Companies don’t have to provide office space for all of their employees. Instead, they can use tools to effectively and efficiently allocate employees through hybrid workspace management. This, in turn, will allow the employer to shave off overhead costs.
Now, many companies are already adopting hybrid working models. Some of the most prominent companies that have adopted the hybrid work model include ING and ABN AMRO. Besides the obvious benefits, hybrid working models can help to boost productivity and morale and save money on office space costs.
Given the apparent decline of remote work, you might wonder: is hybrid work doomed as well? The simple answer is no. In the Netherlands, for example, there have been calls to make a hybrid work policy a fundamental part of all remote-capable positions. This comes as a response to the high demand for a hybrid work policy from dutch workers. In fact, in 2021, 74% of remote-capable workers in the Netherlands wanted to continue working in a hybrid model.
According to one study, both Millennials and Gen Zers prefer hybrid models of work. The study found that 62% of Millennials and 63% of Gen Zers want to work at least some of the time remotely, while only 20% and 19% respectively want to work in an office full-time. Considering these generations are set to take over the workspace in the coming years, it’s not surprising that hybrid modes of working are increasingly becoming normalized and widespread.
The simple answer is: yes. In the U.S., almost 7 out of 10 remote-capable employees would prefer a hybrid or office model over remote work. In a survey of 18 countries, 66% of respondents wanted some degree of hybrid working, ranging from mostly at the office to mostly remote.
The preference for hybrid models of work is likely because they offer the best of both worlds. Employees get the flexibility of working from home when needed, while also being able to come into the office and collaborate with their teammates when necessary.
In a recent study, 82% of hybrid-capable employees reported feeling happier when able to work from anywhere, and 60% feel that such flexibility makes them more productive (Cisco). The same study found that about 7 in 10 employees had stronger family relationships due to hybrid working and about 3 in 10 employees found hybrid work less stressful than traditional office work.
Since there has been a move to make working from home in the Netherlands a right, you might wonder if hybrid work has been legally entrenched in the job market here. However, as of September 2022, the reality is that such a law has not been passed. Instead, the Dutch government provides a provision for employees to submit formal requests to their employers to work from home.
These requests need to be considered under certain conditions:
More information about the Dutch government’s stance on hybrid and remote work can be found on this website, but, in general, the government chooses to promote hybrid work.
This stance comes as a response to the sentiments of the Dutch workforce. According to one survey by KPN, 3 out of 4 hybrid employees don’t think that hybrid working is a temporary trend. A dutch government survey found that the Dutch workforce works from home an average of 6.5 hours a week, as of July 2022, twice as much as before the pandemic. Furthermore, 4 out of 10 Dutch employees work from home at least a few times a week.
The hybrid work model can help businesses save money on overhead costs, such as office space. This is because businesses can allow some employees to work from home, which can free up office space for other uses. This is where the hybrid workspace can play a crucial role.
23% of employees worry that employers are not able to adapt their office space for hybrid work. Such adaption will be necessary to transform the traditional office into a hybrid workspace. The hybrid workspace is a type of office space that allows employees to split their time between working in the office and working from home. This can take the form of smaller office spaces, or flexible coworking spaces that can be used as needed and can house multiple businesses. These adjustments can further lead to lower office costs for businesses.
It’s important to note that the preference for hybrid working over remote working comes from the opportunity to go to the office that the hybrid model provides. Across 18 countries, 85% of respondents reported a preference for working remotely for at least part of the week, and 60% of respondents wanted to return to the office for community and collaboration. In the Netherlands, 63% of workers cite socialization as the primary reason to return to the office.
These findings suggest that the modern workplace should become more consumer-oriented to compete with virtual spaces. In other words, the modern workplace must become more attractive to an increasingly hybrid workforce. The office of the future needs to transfer the comfort of the home office into the workplace with the addition of amenities that promote making the office unique: community and collaboration. The modern hybrid workplace has been designed to do just that: create a work environment that is both comfortable and collaborative.
But what does this look like in practice? More limited desk space can give way to other kinds of amenities crucial for collaboration and community, such as open common areas, kitchens, or wellness areas. Traditional office rentals can be replaced by more appropriate solutions, such as flexible coworking spaces. Amenities centered around comfort and community are, in fact, commonplace in flexible coworking spaces. These spaces have the potential to play an important role in the modernization of the workplace since they provide more affordable and flexible opportunities for teams with a hybrid workforce.
Remote work might be dying off, but hybrid work models are here to stay. Workers in remote-capable positions seem to prefer hybrid work over other modes of work. The hybrid work model is a win-win for both employers and employees: while employers benefit from increased productivity and decreased office costs, employees can enjoy a better work-life balance. It’s no wonder that this model is becoming increasingly popular in today’s workplace.
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