Whether businesses like it or not, hybrid work is here to stay, and employees like it. And whether they believe it or not, the model is working. Research shows that hybrid workers – those who work partly in an office and partly remote – are more productive and engaged than employees who are entirely office-based or fully remote. They also report better wellbeing – both physical and mental – and feel more positive about their organisation.
Despite the evidence and clear benefits that hybrid work can deliver, many companies are still grappling with whether and how to implement it. Some business leaders feel that real work can’t get done outside the office. But if implemented properly, flexible work models can lead to a more productive, healthy workforce.
As revealed in a poll* of 900 business leaders and 1,800 knowledge workers around the world conducted by Citrix, 69 percent of hybrid workers feel productive, compared to 64 percent of remote workers and 59 percent of in-office employees. Further, 69 percent of hybrid workers feel engaged, compared to 56 percent of remote workers and 51 percent of in-office employees, whilst 73 percent of hybrid workers are positive about their personal performance, as compared to 69 percent of remote workers and 65 percent of in-office employees.
Hybrid workers also view their jobs and employers more favourably than their peers. 71 percent of hybrid workers surveyed say they have a strong emotional connection to their team and immediate colleagues which motivates them to work harder, compared to 63 percent of in-office employees and 60 percent of remote workers. Likewise, 70 percent of hybrid workers say they have a strong emotional connection to their organisation and leadership team, compared to 60 percent of remote workers and 58 percent of in-office employees, with 69 percent of hybrid workers saying they would recommend their employer, compared to 60 percent of remote workers and 56 percent of in-office employees.
The pandemic has upended the way people work and driven stress to record levels. But one thing is universal: when employees experience a state of well-being at work, they can unlock their potential, work purposefully and creatively, and make meaningful contributions to the success of the entire organisation. Hybrid workers lead the way here too, with 70 percent of those who participated in Work Rebalanced reporting good wellbeing, compared to 61 percent of remote workers and 60 percent of in-office employees.
Empowered by Technology
When it comes to enabling hybrid work, technology is a key driver of success. Employees want access to tools that allow them to work where they want and how they need to be their most productive. And they expect their employers to deliver it.
Of critical importance is removing the noise and distractions from work that technology can create. As uncovered by Work Rebalanced, the average employee spends around 54 minutes a day dealing with technology challenges. The typical employee, for instance, needs to navigate four or more applications just to execute a single business process, and accessing them requires remembering multiple passwords and navigating a host of different interfaces.
It’s frustrating and slowing them down. But with the right solutions, IT leaders can simplify and streamline work technology to ensure that employees have the space for ‘deep work’ and focus.
The Hybrid Work Stack
Many organisations are already making efforts to do so, leveraging digital workspace solutions that allow them to unify, secure, and simplify work. Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location. Contextual access and app security ensure applications and information remain secure—no matter where work happens. Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalise, guide, and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best.
IT departments are now much more focused on really understanding and meeting employee needs with the work technology that they provide and are taking more of an employee-led, design thinking approach when it comes to work tech infrastructure.
And the move is paying off, especially among hybrid workers. According to Work Rebalanced, hybrid workers feel more empowered by their work technology, with 68 percent saying that their work technology enables them to perform effectively, compared to 65 percent of remote workers and 60 percent of in-office employees.
The Future of Work
Hybrid work is the future of work. And as Work Rebalanced makes clear, it can create significant, positive outcomes for employees and employers alike. If given the flexibility, trust, and power to choose where and how they work best, employees will thrive. And companies that grant it will accelerate their innovation and growth.
So, the question isn’t whether to implement hybrid work, but when and how quickly?
*poll by Work Rebalanced