There used to be a time when going to work typically meant driving to the office from Monday to Friday. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Suddenly, in-office employees began working from home — and loving it.
Now, with restrictions easing, most companies are welcoming workers back into the office. But instead of going back to the traditional way of working, they’re trying something new — hybrid work.
Many companies are allowing their employees to do hybrid work. And whether they like it or not, most company executives agree that hybrid work is here to stay.
Here’s what executives are saying about the future of hybrid work:
Executives are saying hybrid work will increase in the future.
Most (90%) executives surveyed by McKinsey expect that employees will be at work between 21% and 80% of the time or one to four days per week — that is, if it isn’t essential for them to be on-site.
In a separate survey by PwC, 33% of executives planned a mixed model in their companies — a mix of employees working in-person, hybrid, and fully remote. 18% planned to go entirely hybrid.
Here’s what Google CEO Sundar Pichai has to say about the future of hybrid work for his company:
“We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best. Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on-site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work.”
Employees want flexibility in their jobs, and executives are listening.
According to Gallup, leaders and managers prefer a hybrid work arrangement because they want to give their employees the flexibility they want. However, they have reservations about transitioning into fully remote work because they are concerned about sustaining the company culture.
Microsoft’s survey reported that over 70% of employees want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65% want to work in person with their teams more often. 66% of business leaders are considering redesigning their workspaces to accommodate hybrid work.
Here’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thinks about the future of hybrid work:
“Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.”
As companies shift toward a hybrid work environment, executives will continue to iterate and redesign their work practices to provide the best possible hybrid work experience for their employees.
78% of COOs, for example, have either reduced their office space, are currently considering it, or are planning to go through with it. 40% of executives at leading companies have also reimagined their hiring practices, compared to 16% at middling companies and 18% at lagging companies. This trend is expected to continue growing beyond 2023.
Here’s what Chief Learning Officer of Udemy, Melissa Daimler, has to say about this:
“It’s important to clarify how to work together. We are codifying our values through a “re-culturing” process — identifying specific behaviors we expect and want to see for each value and then embedding those into our processes of hiring, onboarding, and talent managing. Doing so provides a clear playbook for everyone, making it easier and psychologically safer for everyone to do their job well. We can no longer hide behind free food and ping-pong tables when defining culture.”
It’s clear what executives are saying about the future of hybrid work — so clear, in fact, that they’re already adapting to it.
While 91% of UK executives performed well remotely during the lockdown, 87% said that hybrid working would be a bigger part of their work lives after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the same survey, a whopping 95% of executives stated that hybrid work would benefit a business by making it future-proof.
Technology plays a significant role in adapting to a new hybrid workplace, of course. Facilitating communication between teams, conducting meetings with on-site and off-site individuals, and creating opportunities for collaboration are still key to workplace productivity.
Here’s what the cofounder and CEO of The Escape Game, Mark Flint, says about this:
“With the job market as tight and volatile as it has been, there is very little margin for error, and being adaptable and creative is essential. The ‘rules of the game’ are different and still changing; if our team is going to win, we know we have to change as well. For our WFH policies, we tried many different versions for various periods of time. We were intentional and transparent in our communication with our teams and honest about the fact that we would experiment with different models.”
Nearly all executives surveyed by McKinsey recognize that managing is different when employees work remotely versus on-site. But while they understand the difference, not all of them have implemented a training program for their managers to get them up to speed.
The ones who have, though, saw an increase in productivity.
As hybrid work continues to gain popularity, companies that design and develop the spaces to keep their employees connected will likely see greater growth in key metrics such as productivity, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion.
Here’s what CEO of Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, has to say about this:
“I’m a firm believer in the importance of in-person collaboration. Yes, we have the ability to work remotely, but we also want to preserve our culture. The reality is, if you don’t create as a community, it’s very difficult to maintain a strong culture. It’s all about striking the right balance between flexibility and providing people with an environment to work together effectively. We had a phased approach in bringing our employees back to the office, and we’re now embracing a hybrid schedule. We allow flexibility but are leaning into opportunities for people to spend time together and continue to build our incredible culture.”
Half of the risk executives surveyed by PwC say that now is the ideal time to invest in technology for hybrid teams, whether that’s cloud solutions, automation, or anything in between.
Tools such as OfficeRnD Hybrid are also making collaboration between teams easier, whether those teams work in-office, remotely, or both.
Here’s what MetaWorks Vice President Ryan Cairns has to say about this:
“The move to hybrid work is an even bigger shift that brings new challenges for how we all communicate. Adapting our physical spaces to provide virtual connection creates new requirements for office technology. It means investing in versatile, immersive tools. The metaverse will be one of the “tools” that will change businesses for the better with technology that helps us work smarter and offers synchronous collaboration in both physical and virtual spaces.”
If you’re interested in what the Vice President of MetaWorks has to say about hybrid work, you might be interested in what the CEO of Meta has to say as well. Feel free to read more quotes about what executives are saying about the future of hybrid work!
There’s no denying that hybrid work is here to stay. What executives are saying about the future of hybrid work proves that it takes flexibility, adaptability, and using the right tools to make hybrid work easier for your organization.
Fortunately, OfficeRnD Hybrid makes that a breeze. It’s a powerful yet easy-to-use and fully embeddable workplace management platform that’ll keep your employees organized and engaged, whether they’re working from home or in the office.
And if you’re ever unsure about your hybrid work policies, OfficeRnD Hybrid can help with that, too! In addition to a desk booking system and smart team scheduling, the software can streamline your work policy so your employees know which days they need to be in the office.
Start for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid today.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, “Hybrid flexibility will reach the front lines” in 2023, meaning that it’s time to find equitable flexibility for frontline workers, like those in healthcare and retail. Additionally, a Forbes article states that “workplaces in 2023 will be more diverse, distributed, and virtual than ever before.”
68% of employees worldwide prefer hybrid working, with two out of three saying that it’s improved their work-life balance and 85% reporting that it’s saved them both time and money now that they no longer have to commute every day.
The biggest challenges of hybrid working are communication, coordination, connection, productivity, motivation, stress management, and culture.
The most common hybrid work models are split-week, week-by-week, and flexible.
Yes, according to various statistics, hybrid work will be the new normal.
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