The world of work has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last few years, with remote work skyrocketing and the pandemic forcing businesses to adapt in ways they never thought possible. 

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest trends in hybrid work to ensure your business stays competitive. In this article, we’ll take a look at just that – the most important hybrid work trends to watch out for in 2024. 


Quick Summary: Here are the most expected trends related to hybrid and remote work as of 2024:

  • The Great Office Standout: 2024 Edition
  • Businesses Will Continue to Embrace Smaller Real Estate Footprints
  • More Formalized Hybrid Work Schedules
  • More Consolidated Hybrid Work Tech Stack (And Less Point Solutions)
  • Hybrid Mastery: Leadership’s New Gold Standard
  • Proximity Bias Will Continue To Challenge Managers
  • Employee Compensation Will Continue To Be An Issue
  • Rise of “Hub and Spoke” Models
  • Employees Will Fight To Make Hybrid Work, Work
  • Hybrid Workplaces Will Transform Into Intentional Workplaces
  • Homebuilders Will Design Future Homes For The At-home Employee
  • Persistent Decline of Fixed Office Design
  • Millennials And Gen Z Will Dictate The Direction Of Hybrid Work
  • Asynchronous Communication Will Be More Common
  • Work-life Balance And The Question Of, “Is It Worth It?”
  • The Increased Adoption Of Hybrid Work Models Will Continue
  • AI’s New Frontier: Elevating Hybrid Workspaces to New Dimensions

From the increasing adoption of hybrid work models to the rise of A.I., we’ll explore how the landscape changes so you don’t stay behind. We’ll also see the ways in which businesses are adapting to the new normal. 

Keep reading to find out how you can stay ahead of the game and make the most out of the latest shifts in the exciting world of hybrid work in 2024.

Hybrid Work Trends For 2024 (And Beyond)

To be effective in this new model of work, managers and business leaders need to see the coming trends so that they can align their business strategies and adapt their policies and practices.  

Free bonus: Watch this exclusive webinar where industry experts discuss the top 3 most expected trends for 2024 and beoyond. It incudes a free resource you don’t want to miss.

With that in mind, here are some of the major hybrid work trends for 2024.

#1 The Great Office Standout: 2024 Edition

In 2024, employers and employees will continue to lock horns over the return to office. Employers will continue to tighten the reins on remote work, while employees will ferociously resist mandates.

In fact, 90% of companies say they’ll return to the office by the end of 2024. And employees, having relished pandemic-induced remote work flexibility, are clashing with companies eager for a full office comeback.

As BBC highlights, even as economic uncertainties lead to layoffs, many firms are reneging on prior flexibility promises and even threatening disciplinary action or termination for workers who refuse to comply.

However, employees are not backing down, often defying return mandates and prompting even major institutions to reconsider their demands. As 2024 unfolds, the trend suggests a continued stalemate.

#2 Businesses Will Continue to Embrace Smaller Real Estate Footprints

Hybrid work models allow organizations to reduce their real estate footprint, resulting in significant cost savings. Up to 40% to be exact. Recent data suggests that in the USA alone, half of the biggest global companies are planning to reduce their physical office space by at least 10%, leading to a decline in long-term office leases.

real estate footprint

The most recent example is that of Meta, the company that owns Facebook, which paid a whopping £149 million to cancel its lease on a big office building in London.

A recent article in the New York Times reported how corporate layoffs and rising interest rates have negatively affected the office real estate market. The article also mentioned the increased prevalence of hybrid workspaces. 

The article cited KPMG, one of the big-four accounting firms. The firm adopted a hybrid work model, allowing them to vacate three older buildings, reducing the firm’s lease space by 40 percent.

The article quotes W. Scott Horne, a KPMG spokesman:

For our business, we believe a hybrid future — a blend of fully remote, hybrid, and on-site teams — will deepen connections among current and potential employees and leaders, delivering us a competitive edge in the marketplace.

In 2024 and beyond, it’s expected that many other tech companies will continue to break office leases. Instead, short-term rentals and co-working spaces are seeing an uptick, with a 20% increase in demand.

#3 More Formalized Hybrid Work Schedules

The downsides of fully remote work, like reduced productivity and fewer chances for spontaneous collaboration, are becoming evident, especially for new and creative teams.

employee shifts

As a result, organizations will implement stricter hybrid work policies with set schedules. Companies will require their employees to be present at the office at least 2-3 days per week.

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 71% of professionals believe that work flexibility, including the ability to work remotely and have a flexible schedule, is important for job satisfaction.

However, the same survey also found that 80% of professionals believe that in-person collaboration is essential for workplace culture and building relationships with colleagues.

#4 More Consolidated Hybrid Work Tech Stack (And Less Point Solutions)

In the early days of hybrid work, businesses scrambled to find individual solutions for specific needs, like desk reservations or meeting room bookings.

But as the hybrid workspace landscape matures, there’s a clear shift. Companies are moving away from isolated tools and embracing comprehensive hybrid work tech suites – ones that offer a more integrated and streamlined approach to hybrid work.

Instead of having a desk booking system and a separate tool for visitor management, organizations will look for centralized platforms that can manage all aspects of hybrid work – desk booking, meeting room booking, visitor management, workplace analytics, etc As evidence, G2, the renowned software review platform has recently introduced a fresh category: “Hybrid Enablement”.

#5 Hybrid Mastery: Leadership’s New Gold Standard

How do you manage a team of distributed workers, some of whom you see every day, others you see once or twice a week, and some you will only meet in a Zoom meeting? 

hybrid work team leaders

According to a study by Workplaceless.com, 54% of managers think leadership is out of touch with employee expectations. Another 74% say they don’t have the influence or resources to manage their team.  

The ones that succeed find the sweet spot between micromanaging remote employees and forgetting about them (the latter approach will soon have employees wondering if they matter and looking elsewhere for a job).

Managers will be evaluated not only by the work produced by their team but also by whether they retain employees.

That’s why social media is flooded with ads promoting online courses and training programs related to hybrid work. 

And new hybrid and remote work influencers emerge, preaching about the importance of adapting to the new work norm. 

In addition, business schools are starting to answer the demand for additional training. Stanford has launched an online class, and The Harvard Business Review has published several articles. A slew of private firms have started offering managers training in the hybrid workplace. 

In 2024, the leadership paradigm will continue shifting towards valuing managers adept at navigating the complexities of hybrid teams. As businesses increasingly adopt a blend of remote and in-office work, the demand for managers skilled in this arena has surged by an estimated 35%.

Studies indicate that hybrid teams, when managed effectively, can boost productivity by up to 20%. Consequently, organizations are prioritizing training programs to equip managers with the tools and strategies to optimize hybrid team performance.

This trend underscores the evolving nature of leadership, where adaptability and understanding of hybrid dynamics are becoming essential hallmarks of managerial excellence.

In 2024, expect more training programs and courses on hybrid work as more and more organizations will adopt the model.

#6 Proximity Bias Will Continue To Challenge Managers 

It is predicted that proximity bias will continue to be an issue in hybrid work setups in 2024. According to a report by Gartner, by 2024, 75% of organizations will have a hybrid workforce, and remote workers will be at a disadvantage for promotions and development opportunities compared to in-office workers.

The report also notes that managers will need to be trained to recognize and overcome proximity bias to ensure a fair and inclusive workplace

Remote employees and those not in the office every day are concerned that employees present in the office daily will have more face time with management and leadership and access to better information. And that will make them eligible for different privileges. 

According to the State of Remote Work 2022, a report by Owl Labs, there is a gender difference on at least one issue. 

Of men, 54% are concerned that working remotely gives them less say at work and that they are more likely to miss out on career opportunities. Only 42% of women expressed this concern.

Team meetings are particularly challenging. The Owl Labs’ study noted, among other things,  that in meetings where participants were a mix of those on-site and others working remotely:

  • 34% were hesitant to interrupt someone who was speaking.
  • 32% were concerned about not seeing faces and missing visual cues.
  • 29% were concerned about not being able to see who was speaking.
  • 26% were concerned about not being able to see the whiteboard.

Some managers solve this problem by requiring all employees to be on individual video feeds, regardless of location, thereby giving everyone the same perspective. 

Even so, we’ve all been in remote meetings where select participants have a second meeting via text messages on cell phones held underneath the table. 

Virtual Team Builders, a firm that helps train company owners and managers to implement hybrid work, suggests having all managers and leaders work from home at least once a week.

When an employee sees supervisors engaging in hybrid work, it says that this is part of how everyone in the company works. 

#7 Employee Compensation Will Continue To Be An Issue 

Compensation is a sticky topic for company owners and leaders.

How do you compensate members of a hybrid workforce fairly?  

employee compensation

Some are in the office five days a week. Others come in two days a week. Then there is the remote worker who spends half the year working from a family home in the Appenine mountains of Italy (but has a fiber-optic WiFi connection that can fry an egg). 

According to a white paper titled Fairness & Equity in Remote Compensation by Boundless, a firm that handles global employment for companies, there are three main approaches to compensation of a hybrid workforce:

  • 38% of companies compensate remote workers based on local market rates where they live.
  • 35% of companies approach compensation based on equal pay for equal work. 
  • 28% of companies use a method based on a formula that includes the local cost of living, local taxes, and the type of work. The list goes on and differs for every application. 

Notice that these approaches do not embrace hybrid workers. A worker that comes in two days out of the week saves money on automobile costs, purchasing lunch, clothing, and dry cleaning. On the flip side, they dedicate space in their home, often an entire room, as their remote office. 

It is interesting to note that of the three approaches listed above, they are closer to being evenly distributed, more than one might expect. 

A remote worker in Canada has government-sponsored healthcare. Do you pay them extra money for their health insurance? 

Some companies solve this by offering benefits in a cafeteria-style arrangement where employees can choose their benefits. This is called benefits harmonization

According to Boundless, 44% of companies have not addressed compensation. This might change. Remember, hybrid work is still a new concept. 

There is also the issue of unintended consequences. You might have an employee working in a country with a low cost of living. What happens when they decide to move to Paris, France? If you have a formula based on the local cost of living, do you give them a raise?

These and similar questions will continue to keep HRs and People Managers up at night. Figuring out the answers will give them an edge in the competitive workplace landscape as employers. 

#8 Rise of “Hub and Spoke” Models

Companies will increasingly adopt a “hub and spoke” model, where a central office acts as a hub for collaboration and innovation, while remote workers operate from smaller “spoke” offices situated closer to where employees live.

This model allows for a balance between in-person collaboration and remote work flexibility and is predicted to increase in popularity in the coming years. According to a survey by PwC, 72% of executives plan to use a hub-and-spoke model in the future.

#9 Employees Will Fight To Make Hybrid Work, Work

There is a mountain of data and research about the hybrid workplace, and most of it talks about how company owners and managers can make hybrid work. 

The reality is that hybrid is a two-way street. Employees must demonstrate that hybrid work improves their performance and, more importantly, makes things better for the company. 

hybrid work advantages

How can employees manifest this? Giving it the extra effort is a place to start, and there is evidence that they realize this.

Dr. Lynda Gratton, a professor at the London Business School and author of Redesigning Work, participated in an interview with Tortoise, a UK news website.

In her own words:

We actually work longer. If you commute for two hours a day, then what you do in your mind is give an hour to work and an hour to yourself.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) backs this up. In the first year of the pandemic, NBER research found the average at-home workday increased by 8.25, or 48.5 minutes. 

Their research included meeting and email meta-data from 3,143,270 users in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. When it comes to the hybrid workplace, employees are motivated to make it work and that trend will continue in the years ahead.

#10 Hybrid Workplaces Will Transform Into Intentional Workplaces

The workplace will continue evolving. 

No two days in a hybrid workplace are alike, and as different hybrid models emerge, offices need to adapt. 

hybrid workplace

The most productive hybrid workplaces will feature open-space designs, furniture that reconfigures, and ease of access. Space management will also be an issue. Check out this case study of how Common Desk used OfficeRnd’s management platform to solve the flexibility issue. 

Even the firms that are used to operating remotely need to get people into the office for intentional collaboration – face-to-face brainstorming, important meetings that are better held in person, and other activities. Companies will invest time and resources into creating workplaces that make employees want to come into the office. 

Gone are the lifeless cubicle farms. Expect more open spaces with casual seating, sofas, coffee tables, and attractive amenities.

The goal?

To make employees feel at home. For that, the space will need to become a place. This is a trend we captured while attending the CoreNet Global Summit Conference in Chicago in late 2022.

#11 Homebuilders Will Design Future Homes For The At-home Employee

For someone who works in a hybrid work environment, their next home purchase will include a need for an at-home workspace. 

hybrid office

Such a space might need extra electrical outlets, accommodations for heavy-duty WiFi, and window placement that reduces distraction. An article in BuilderOnline.com discusses whether your in-home office occupies a spot near the kitchen or other areas of household activity. 

An alternate option is near the entrance of the residence to provide more privacy or to avoid having to straighten up the rest of the house when you host business-related visitors. 

#12 Persistent Decline of Fixed Office Design

The static, cubicle-driven office layouts of the past are becoming relics. Recent studies show that nearly 40% of businesses are now redesigning their spaces to be more adaptable.

The emphasis is shifting from fixed desks to modular setups, allowing for quick reconfigurations based on team needs. Breakout areas, collaborative pods, and multi-use spaces have seen a 25% increase in implementation.

For instance, companies like WeWork and Spaces are leading the charge, offering dynamic layouts that cater to diverse work styles. This trend underscores a broader move towards agility, reflecting the evolving needs of a modern, fluid workforce.

#13 Millennials And Gen Z Will Dictate The Direction Of Hybrid Work 

Millennials and Gen Z are driving the shift towards hybrid work. These generations value flexibility and work-life balance, influencing organizations to adopt hybrid work models. Understanding the needs and preferences of these generations is crucial for organizations to attract and retain young talent.

The younger generations are most likely to leave a job that does not meet their expectations and brings them stress. They will bring that ethos with them as they mature in the workplace unless employers meet their needs. 

millenials

Boomers, on their way to retirement, will have the least influence on the hybrid office. Many have spent most of their careers working in an office environment and are comfortable with it. 

#14 Asynchronous Communication Will Be More Common

The increased implementation of hybrid workplaces means greater numbers of team members, potentially all over the globe. 

Asynchronous communication–(also known as asynch) acknowledges people working in multiple time zones (synchronous communication refers to employees exchanging communications in real-time). 

In asynch communication, a project manager in California leaves a message on Slack for a programmer in Greece, who answers it ten hours later. 

You will also encounter the occasional meeting where someone has to log in at 3:30 a.m. their time when for everyone else it is early afternoon. 

The other option is the increased use of remote video asynchronous collaboration tools such as Loom, as pointed out in a blog post on Workplaceless.com.  

The impact of this is that not all communications will be instant. Teams need to build time into planning for information exchanges that are not immediate but rather take a few hours or even overnight to get to everyone.  

#15 Work-life Balance And The Question Of, “Is It Worth It?”

Almost everyone knows someone who died of COVID-19 in the last three years. It has also been tumultuous worldwide with civil unrest and international tensions. 

father with his son

One of the net effects, points out the Microsoft 2022 Work Trends Index, has been for many to re-evaluate priorities and ask, “Is it worth it?” 

The report found that 53% of employees are likely to prioritize health and well-being over work. Another 47% are likely to put family and their personal lives first.

Employers will remain sensitive to this. 

A severe recurrence of COVID-19 or one of its variants, or another pandemic might compel employees to consider relocating their homes from urban and suburban neighborhoods to a more rural setting. 

An employee in the office two or three days a week is then fully remote. How will that affect the team? Well-established hybrid work policies and practices can ensure minimal disruption. 

#16 The Increased Adoption Of Hybrid Work Models Will Continue

We mentioned that several times already but it’s so important that it deserves a heading of its own.

What Is Hybrid Work

The expansion of hybrid workplaces will only perpetuate more expansion. Gallup reported that companies and owners continue to find that a hybrid workplace helps retain workers, expands the hiring pool, attracts high-talent job candidates, and improves employee performance.

Expectedly, the adoption of hybrid work models is set to increase in 2024 and beyond. Forbes estimates that by the end of 2024, more than two-thirds of American companies will operate under flexible and remote work models. Organizations that can effectively implement and manage these models will have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.

The world is going hybrid and that’s the future of work.

For more interesting insights related to hybrid and flexible work, check out our article on the latest hybrid work statistics.

#17 AI’s New Frontier: Elevating Hybrid Workspaces to New Dimensions

The relentless evolution of AI will continue reshaping the landscape of hybrid, remote, and collaboration tools. As these tools become more adaptive and intuitive, they promise to redefine the essence of virtual collaboration.

Platforms like Orbital.chat whose popularity grew by 9200% between July 2023 and September 2023, exemplify this transformation, offering enhanced user experiences and innovative functionalities. The rise of advanced digital collaboration tools will continue, with platforms integrating AI, AR, and VR to make remote collaboration more immersive and efficient.

In Conclusion

For the majority of business leaders, the hybrid workplace went from, “Something we’ve been looking at for a few years,” to “Now we don’t have a choice.” It happened all around the world in a few days. 

Business leaders are now approaching it from the perspective of, “How do we make this work, and work better, for the long term?”

One way to make it work is by identifying the key hybrid work trends and analyzing how they affect your business. Some managers will naturally become hybrid evangelists, while others will need training and education. 

Making sure all employees feel valued and included will be an ongoing effort. Companies will struggle with the compensation question. And it will be interesting to see how small businesses define their version of the hybrid workplace. 

There will be experiments. There will be failures. There will be successes. The best companies, however, will be the ones that keep on trying.

You need the right hybrid work management software to navigate the ever-evolving hybrid work world. OfficeRnD Hybrid is an easy-to-use, yet super powerful hybrid work management solution that people love because:

  • It’s easy to integrate with the most common work tools
  • It’s easy to implement and use
  • It offers the most needed features that help in managing hybrid work such as desk and room booking, workplace analytics, visitor management system, advanced collaborative scheduling tools, and more!
  • It boasts unmatched customer support and onboarding services. 

Click here to start for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid or book a live demo with one of our workplace experts. 


FAQ

What’s the most expected hybrid work trend for 2024?

The most expected hybrid work trend for 2024 is undoubtedly the increasing hybrid work model adoption rate. Already 80% of high-growth companies use that model (one way or another) and that number will become bigger by the end of 2024.

Why are companies moving to hybrid work?

Companies are moving to hybrid work for a variety of reasons, including increased productivity and cost savings. According to a study by Buffer, remote workers reported an average increase in productivity of 20%. Additionally, companies can save on expenses such as office space by having some employees work remotely. Feel free to read more about the benefits of hybrid work.

Is hybrid work the future of work?

Yes, it’s safe to say that hybrid work is the future of work and it’s already happening at a great speed worldwide. A survey by McKinsey found that 70% of executives plan to shift some employees to remote work permanently, and many companies are experimenting with hybrid work models.

Do employees prefer hybrid work?

Employee preferences for hybrid work vary but in general, we can say that employees do prefer hybrid work because that gives them flexibility and improved work-life balance.

With that being said, some employees prefer the flexibility and autonomy of remote work, while others prefer the structure and social interactions of working in an office. A survey by Buffer found that 43% of remote workers would like to continue working remotely at least some of the time, even after the pandemic. The research also shows that hybrid work models are proven to increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Asen Stoyanchev
Senior Content Marketing & SEO Specialist | OfficeRnD
Asen is passionate about flexible working and the future of work. He firmly believes that work flexibility directly impacts one's health and well-being. When he's not writing, Asen spends his time devouring business literature, hiking, and parenting.