The hybrid workplace is the new orange.
Yes, today’s workers overwhelmingly prefer a hybrid workplace according to a recent study. They are seeking to maximize on the benefits of both office work and work from home rather than sacrificing one for the other.
According to the Gensler 2020 US Workplace Survey, less than half of American workers would choose to work full-time from the office or from home. Instead, they would rather mix the two, coming into the office for certain tasks, and staying home for others.
This is just one of many recent studies showing that the expectations for the future of work are changing rapidly and that the hybrid workplace is the reality of the 2020s.
The survey interviewed over two thousand workers who had been working at home during the pandemic for at least six months.
When the survey was done, only one in five were working in a hybrid model. Over half were working full time at home. And nearly one-third full time from the office. Yet they would prefer not to stay doing that.
Why a Hybrid Workplace?
The main reasons employees still do want to work from the office are in order to maximize the benefits of collaboration and keep up with what others are working on.
Indeed, perhaps the most critical statistic in the survey shows that people working full-time from the office spend twice as much time collaborating as those working from home. This even includes virtual collaboration. Office-based workers spent more than half their day collaborating.
Strangely, “socializing” time was nearly identical across all models, including the hybrid workplace model.
The office is clearly not the choice due to comfort – with comfort coming in dead last in the list of six reasons why the worker would choose to work in the office – while it came in second only to “concerns about catching COVID” for those working fully at home.
Interestingly, as the time spent at home decreases, productivity tends to rise while comfort falls. It seems that for most people, the office is still a more productive place to get work done.
But not for everyone.
The hybrid workplace helps achieve the advantages of both.
The Hybrid Workplace Breeds Success
In fact, those already working hybrid reported significantly higher levels of productivity than full-time at home or office. They also reported vast superiority in a number of other important metrics. Creativity. Positive relationships with colleagues. Team management success. Problem solving ability. And the quality of communication.
Of course, the study clearly promotes a hybrid workplace model. But it also recommends greater flexibility in the workplace itself.
Allow for both more private space AND more public spaces that promote collaboration. At the same time, employees want their own desks more than they want to work remotely! Shared desks are now less popular than ever. Maybe it’s also fear of COVID-19, but people want their own space.
The study suggests the following steps to create a successful hybrid workplace and keep your workforce satisfied.
- Provide a flexible hybrid model where you collaborate with the employee to figure out how to maximize the benefits they need.
- Schedule regular collaborative time for your teams on a daily basis, whether in person or virtual.
- Maximize communication among team members to ensure everyone knows what is happening with one another no matter where they are.
Hybrid At the Edge
This information supports our practice of AT THE EDGE. Keep your workers informed and engaged.
Everyone. Everywhere. All the Time.
Book a call with us so we can help you implement this new way of doing things.
Because you need to stay ahead of the curve, right?
By Michael Lee, SVP of Strategy and Marketing at Innovation Minds