The global pandemic has prompted sharp changes in daily life, including work structure. Before the pandemic, full-time office hours were the norm, but health restrictions and travel bans forced business leaders to implement remote work models.
As the effects of the pandemic waned, most businesses adopted a new work structure that combines remote working with the pre-pandemic in-office setup. Enter a hybrid work model.
The hybrid structure provides employee flexibility as well as the benefits of both work arrangements. However, some business leaders have strong opinions about one structure or the other, and wonder “does hybrid work increase productivity”.
In this article, we take a closer look at this hybrid work KPI.
The short answer is yes, hybrid work does increase productivity. In the below piece, you’ll find detailed information on why companies monitor increased productivity in a hybrid work environment and what factors you should take in mind when implementing it.
While people are working more than ever, top management is worrying about them being productive, in times of economic crisis.
A research by Microsoft found that there’s a huge disconnect between employees reporting being productive at work (87%) and leaders not having enough confidence their teams are doing their best (12%).
While an individual may feel productive while working remotely, the top management may not feel the same. The inability to gauge employee productivity can lead to a decreased trust between the employee and manager, which can have negative professional consequences.
Moreover, “85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive”. This leads to a lack of trust and transparency which has created “productivity paranoia” in the hybrid work model.
The productivity paranoia risks leading to unsustainable hybrid working. Whether managers are leading a team of productive employees or not shouldn’t be the main focus, though.
The lack of guidance and leadership is the reason 81% of the respondents feel they can’t prioritize their tasks properly. And that’s the main reason to lose focus on the important things.
To resolve the arguments, it’s best to explore deeper than subjective opinion and check what objective science shows.
According to the president of Prodoscore, David Powell, their data found that a highly productive employee in an office setup will also be effective at home. If they were slacked off, the situation would remain the same at home. “After evaluating more than 105 million data points from 30,000 U.S.-based Prodoscore users, we found a 5% increase in productivity during the pandemic work-from-home period,” he said.
A study conducted by PwC showed that several companies had enhanced performance and productivity to high levels during the pandemic. Remote and hybrid models have resulted in productivity boost in many workforces, with 57% of companies reporting that their organizations had surpassed their targets over the past 12 months thanks to hybrid working.
Ergotron’s study of 1,000 sampled full-time employees found that as employees become acclimated to remote and hybrid setups since the onset of the pandemic, such workplace arrangement has empowered them toward better physical health and are experiencing mental health benefits. 66% of workers reported improvements in mental health, physical activity, and better work-life balance. Thus, productivity boosts as well.
Overall, providing your workforce the freedom to choose their work schedules can improve employee productivity and business growth.
Not all companies evaluate employee productivity by the same performance standards. However, workforce productivity usually relies on staff members’ positive behavior and whether they are able to meet the performance objectives and goals set out by business leaders.
Therefore, the main way a hybrid work model may impact productivity is through the effects of the work arrangements, including employees who adjust to a hybrid work model and those who may have been affected by the change.
Accenture’s Future of Work Study reflects positive feedback from hybrid employees concerning the hybrid work structure. 83% of the 9,326 employees reported that they prefer a hybrid model that enables them to work on-site and remotely.
Among the primary reasons for this preference is the flexibility hybrid working presents. Employees can work in their preferred environment where they feel most productive. When they have direct control over their work environments, workers can easily focus on the scheduled work.
Furthermore, strong hybrid teams are built on collaborative work which makes meeting the company goals easy. And key highlights from studies have proven that hybrid work fulfills these expectations, leading to higher productivity due to the following reasons:
The study by Ergotron shows that 40% of workers work longer hours remotely than when in the office. Plus, The National Bureau of Economic Research data highlights that these extended workdays are roughly 48.5 minutes longer on average. For full-time workers, this could total over 193 additional working hours in a year.
Having the flexibility to choose between in-person collaboration and remote working has a positive impact on employees. It gives the work-life balance that people need thus, reducing stress levels. Such work arrangement provides a productive workplace where employees can thrive.
Most workers agree that flexibility in work schedules enhances their job satisfaction. And in the sense of “The Great Resignation” companies have a competitive advantage when they implement hybrid work models.
More than three-quarters of employees in various studies cite improved work-life balance due to remote or hybrid working. While some employees still dedicate more time to their work, if they can integrate other aspects of their personal lives, they are able to feel the positive impact of a better work-life balance.
The Hybrid work model has empowered workers to reclaim mental and physical health. Most employees get the freedom to move more frequently with a more active work style in a hybrid setup.
There’s a narrow link between happiness and productivity, too. When we’re happy, we tend to be more productive. A 2019 Oxford University study found that happy workers tend to be 13% more productive. Similarly, a new survey by “Tracking happiness” found that working off-grid contributed to a 20% increase in employee happiness having significant effects on productivity and performance.
Hybrid working enables employees to choose their work location. Giving employees the ability to craft their workplace schedule according to their needs and personal aeries is one of the benefits that positively affects productivity levels.
Although working both from the office and home has ups and downs, a hybrid workplace model can offer the best of both worlds, provided you are set up for success. Here are some tips to help you increase productivity in a hybrid work environment.
Planning your workday or week is crucial as you bounce between different work environments with varying schedules. Create a daily plan and make the most of your working time. This helps you approach your tasks from the best possible workplace – from the office or in the comfort of your home. Not having a consistent plan is a common mistake.
With a hybrid model, you have to pick where to complete a given task in collaboration with other team members or departments. For example, you might want to work from the office to complete a challenging coding problem with help from another programmer, which might not be easy when working remotely. In most cases, the right workplace depends on the type of work you need to perform.
One of the concerns of hybrid work is that employees are essentially maintaining different offices. Every time an individual changes locations, they need to re-adjust to the work environment. You can mitigate this by keeping both work environments as similar as possible. This is a great way to maintain uniformity and enhance productivity, as humans are creatures of habit.
For such workplace arrangements to thrive, it’s vital to maintain open and transparent lines of communication between co-workers to avoid critical information getting lost in Slack or one-on-one conversations. Open communication builds trust and makes it easier for employees to communicate their issues to executives. It is also critical in getting tasks performed efficiently and ensuring no one is unintentionally left behind.
With a team working from multiple locations, you have to ensure employees have access to whatever they need. Utilizing the right tools and technology is the way to ensure that each person has access to the project details and information needed. Include collaborative platforms such as instant messaging, online storage services, videoconferencing, file-sharing services, and cloud-based apps to ensure people have short communication channels and easily share information. Make sure your employees are using similar platforms and that some standards are set on how to use them.
As trends evolve worldwide around work environments, companies and employees find new ways to maintain high productivity levels. Companies must now expand how they measure productivity to focus on collaboration, employee well-being, social connections, and the innovations that drive business success. Allowing employees a hybrid work arrangement can increase their morale while ensuring your business meets or surpasses its previous targets.
Hybrid work is great for most people but very challenging for companies to implement and keep running smoothly. That’s why adopting the right technology is the way organizations can really benefit from hybrid work models. For example, office neighborhoods boost productivity by gathering people who need to collaborate or who have similar workspace needs in one office area.
Activity-based working is another way to increase productivity and improve employee engagement. The activity-based workplace is a flexible office where people have different options to work from that support a variety of tasks throughout the day.
OfficeRND can give you an excellent head start by providing you with the tools and resources to implement hybrid work policies and practices such as activity-based working. Our hybrid work solution allows you to understand better and manage your workforce so that you can make the most of their time and productivity.
Want to see our product in action? Sign up for a demo of OfficeRnD Hybrid here.
We pick the coolest and most useful blog posts, webinars, interviews, eBooks, company and industry news…
all together in the OfficeRnD newsletter!