Hybrid vs. Remote: The Future of Work
Workplaces around the world are on the brink, once again, of a major shift. This time it is about hybrid vs. remote work and getting used to an arrangement that can benefit all employees. During the last year, while COVID variants prevented the actual return to the office, the hybrid model became widespread among organizations. But will it take the place of fully remote arrangements?
The 2022 Annual Work Trend Index Report by Microsoft states that 50% of company leaders expect or will require their employees to return to the office full time within the next year—and some companies are making significant cuts in workforce numbers.
Now that companies are deeming the return to the office, they have been met with employees’ refusal to go back to any resemblance of rigid pre-pandemic work. One solution has been the hybrid work model where companies don’t yet have to compromise to a fully distributed strategy, and employees can continue enjoying some flexibility.
While this model has worked for some, others are still struggling to adapt and are keen on a traditional return to the office. But after two years of the proven effectiveness of remote work, it would be difficult for employees to compromise. And if they did agree on a hybrid arrangement, would that be the new norm? Here is the breakdown of what’s next and how to prepare for the future of work.
Hybrid vs. Remote: What’s the Verdict?
The current landscape is complex in terms of hybrid vs. remote work. A recent study by Coresignal, reports that remote jobs are on the decline. North America’s remote job share peaked at 17.2% in 2021, but that number went down to 11.9% in the first quarter of this year.
Although data may indicate that remote jobs are decreasing, the pandemic brought a huge shift in how companies incorporate flexibility. According to LinkedIn, 1 in 6 jobs offered in the U.S. today have a remote option. Whereas only 1 in 67 had that possibility in March 2020.
However, tech companies continue to go the distributed route. For instance, Yelp publicly reiterated its commitment to remote work as the future of employment this year by closing three offices. Others like LinkedIn have redesigned their offices to allow hybrid work.
Despite these trends and numbers, one thing is for sure: employees want better working conditions. The Great Resignation in 2021 highlighted this fact after 47 million people quit their jobs in the United States citing low pay, no career advancement, and poor working conditions as the main reasons for leaving.
If companies insist on returning to the office, they must guarantee that they will meet employees’ needs and priorities. Microsoft’s report also found that after the pandemic, what people want from work and what they are willing to give in return has changed.
Employees now place increased value on health, family, time, and purpose. Flexibility and well-being have become non-negotiable. So companies must try their best to create a culture that fosters flexibility and guarantees well-being to achieve growth and success.
Hybrid and remote work arrangements give employees that coveted flexibility and work-life balance. New research by Nicholas Bloom of Standard University states that hybrid work reduced attrition rates by 35% for employees of a large tech firm. Workers also reported improved work satisfaction scores with no negative impact on performance or promotions.
Returning to the office, at least for those that have seen firsthand that their job can be done remotely, is unnecessary. As Ian Bogost puts it in his article in The Atlantic, return-to-office policies are not concerned with meeting the needs of workers; they are designed to affirm face value across industries.
We can say that remote work is here to stay. We know this because companies that manage hybrid teams are one step closer to becoming fully remote — they’ve already taken the leap toward trusting their employees to handle their own schedules and responsibilities without direct supervision or oversight.
The workforce is still in transition and there is still a long way to go for companies to agree on hybrid vs. remote. But remote work is sure to stay. Hybrid arrangements have already demonstrated the effectiveness of the time spent at home and how it benefits employees.
Even if companies are reluctant, having remote work policies in place can make it easier for them to transition to fully remote. A top-tier remote work policy gives employees the choice of how, when, and where they work. It also provides distributed teams with remote infrastructure and processes to lead a flexible lifestyle.
At GroWrk we can make remote work a reality for your company. Our platform can help you scale and set up workstations in over 150 countries from one powerful dashboard. We automate the procurement, deployment, and management of IT equipment required by globally distributed teams so you can focus on work. Request a demo and take part in the future of remote work.