Employees want hybrid work, here's why businesses should too

Sabrina Dorronsoro
Sabrina Dorronsoro

The pandemic woke people up to the value of hybrid work arrangements. Work still gets done but at less of a cost to our personal lives. 

No commutes, time to throw in laundry between meetings, space to fit in a midday walk with the kids - fitting work around our lives, not the other way around.

It’s been so beneficial to most employees that they’d rather quit their jobs than lose their freedom. 

A recent survey by FlexJobs reinforces this idea, the results found that: 

  • 65% of respondents report wanting to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic.
  • 31% of participants want a hybrid remote work environment.
  • 96% of employees desire some form of remote work.
  • 27% of workers say that the ability to work from home is so important to them that they are willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut to work remotely. 
  • 81% say they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options

We know employees want more flexible options when it comes to work. But what about businesses? 

Making the transition to hybrid work is no small undertaking so why should your company seriously consider a new workplace model? Let’s take a look. 

The business case for hybrid work

1. Remote work is good for productivity 

You’d think having access to remote work would heighten the potential for distractions. The TV in your living room, your kids begging to play outside, your dog giving you puppy eyes. 

Yet research shows that productivity during the pandemic either stayed the same or, in  some cases, even increased. 

A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study found that 75% of employees working remotely report being able to maintain or improve productivity on their individual tasks. This productivity extends beyond solo work, over 50% of respondents in the BCG study also saw steady or increased productivity with collaborative tasks.

Even more promising? Hybrid work has largely increased productivity among working parents. Data from FlexJobs revealed that 49% of working mothers and 50% of working fathers are more productive working from home.

2. Hybrid work = Happier employees

Flexible work options give employees the opportunity to truly shape work around their lives. And it turns out that makes for a happy team. 

A survey conducted by Mental Health America found that professionals without access to flexible work are nearly two times more likely to have poor or very poor mental health.  Of those who do have flexible work options: 

  • 48% say their work-life balance is excellent or very good
  • 54% have the emotional support they need at work

When you give your team the choice to work wherever best suits them, you build trust among your employees and generally improve their satisfaction at work. It’s a win-win for both parties. 

3. Reinvent office space, enable choice

Hybrid work isn’t just about enabling your team to work from home, it’s also about building an office environment that functions as a genuine tool for your employees. 

Recent research by WeWork found that both C-suite executives and employees agree that having access to an office space is critical. 

In fact, some employees surveyed by WeWork miss having an office so much that nearly two-thirds would be willing to pay out of their own pockets for access to an office space.

It’s important to remember that hybrid work is revolutionary because it empowers employees to choose.

Some team members simply do their best work in an office. Others prefer to collaborate in-person and then head home for their focused work. 

Whatever the combination, hybrid companies can create a space for all different types of working styles. And, while it may seem like a headache to manage different team preferences, it doesn’t have to be. 

Modern workplace experience software allows you to collect data on who is working where to make smarter decisions about your office space needs. 

PwC found that nearly 90% of executives expect to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months.

4.  Hire for talent, not location 

What if you could hire the best person for a job regardless of their zip code? 

One of the biggest advantages of a more hybrid workforce is the opportunity to expand your talent pool. Whether you need a software engineer or a marketing campaigns manager, your recruitment team can really consider a wider spectrum of qualified candidates. 

In fact, 46% of workers surveyed by Microsoft are planning to move to a new location this year because they can now work remotely. 

The hybrid landscape also has the potential to spark a more equitable talent-sourcing process. Recruiters can reach candidates outside of the company's usual line of vision, establishing more inclusive recruiting practices in the process.

Bottom line: hybrid workplaces help hiring teams focus on what's most important: finding and networking with highly valuable, skilled candidates.

Building a new vision for workplace strategy

PwC found that less than one in five executives say they want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. And nearly 90% of employees say the office is important for collaborating with team members and building relationships.

Truly embracing hybrid work will mean reshaping how we see the office. Rather than functioning as a hub for all work, you want to create a space that empowers your team to collaborate more effectively. 

Creating an equitable experience for your entire team, regardless of location, should be the focus of your workplace strategy.


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