With gas prices continuing to skyrocket and inflation on the rise, working from home can save both corporations and employees money and time. But that’s not the only reason hybrid work may be here to stay.
As companies started moving back to on-site work for their employees, many employees have chosen to change jobs rather than be forced to return to an office. Of course, there are pros and cons to working from home or from the office, but this is where hybrid work comes in. Companies that recognize the advantages of hybrid home/office work are poised to win in the long run.
As the Pandemic’s adverse effects recede, there are some positives that remain from the way the world adapted. Working from home has become a valued part of many employees’ daily life. What was once necessary from a public health perspective, is now proving to be very desirable when viewed through a quality of life, access to child care, or wasted time lens.
In a video conference, who will bring the donuts?
Can online meetings really replace conference room gatherings? A 2021 October survey conducted by Economist Impact with the support of Google Workspace found that more than 75% of people firmly believe that hybrid or work-from-home (WFH) would become the new standard. Employees believe they should be able to live and work from anywhere, as long as they are available during the same working hours as everyone else in the company.
Additionally, Facebook’s CEO predicted that over 50% of the social media giant will be working remotely by the year 2030.
Slack surveyed over 9,000 employees in half a dozen of countries with the same questions. Over 70% of the respondents were strongly cheering hybrid or remote office options. In contrast, only 12% were fans of the office setting. Across demographics and geographic location, a majority of people prefer having the flexibility to work from either an office or their home as they see fit.
And about the donuts. It turns out that with the proliferation of food delivery services, you can still bring the donuts by ordering online for your remote participants. It may sound silly, but shared experiences, including having a snack with co-workers is great for team building and it still works with virtual meetings. During the pandemic, many companies created ‘party kits’ that were sent to all associates ahead of corporate town halls or celebrations. This way of creating a sense of inclusion can continue into the future where web meetings are a big part of the corporate experience.
Does Remote Work Affect Employee Productivity?
Before looking at statistics, let’s review both settings. Working from the office allows an employee to chat with colleagues, have one-to-one or group meetings in person, and increases the chance of easy collaboration.
On the other hand, working from home provides a more comfortable and relaxed environment where you can feel more in control of your day. Working from the comfort of your home, also means you will save a lot of time commuting. You can even do chores during your lunch break, giving you more free time after the workday ends.
According to a Stanford Study, home working leads to a 13% overall performance increase. The experiment took place with a NASDAQ-listed company with over 15,000 employees. The employees were assigned either work from home or office on a random basis.
The employees who worked from home needed fewer breaks and fewer days off and did 4% more work per minute compared to their peers.
Why Are Remote Workers More Efficient?
In a 2021 survey conducted by FlexJobs, it was found that 51% of the surveyed workers considered themselves more productive at home or working remotely mainly due to:
- Being able to avoid office politics and relationships (55% of respondents)
- Having better focus (63% of respondents)
- A quieter work environment (68% of respondents)
- Fewer interruptions throughout the work day (68% of respondents)
Mainly due to the reasons listed above, the respondents reported that their mental health has greatly improved through working at home.
Post-2020 Workers Consider WFH Their Right
Our world has been living in virtual lock down for over two full years. Every new worker entering the workforce during that time knows no other way of working except for work from home (WFH). They are used to spending their days jumping on video conference calls, screen sharing, solving microphone problems, virtual whiteboards and all that goes with remote work. These new workers are going to see moving to office environments as very disruptive and will likely resist the change.
Working from home may have become a human right in the minds of people who started working after or during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whether working from home really becomes a legal right or not, from 2020 onward, employees will consider it an essential requirement when looking for new work.
According to ADP Research Institute, over 64% of employees would consider quitting their job and looking for a new one if they were asked to work full-time in an office.
The option to work remotely has become central to the decisions employees make. Some already consider it a human right to work flexibly and from wherever they prefer. Companies who resist this trend will do so at their own peril.