The workplace is divided! Between those who want everyone to return to the workplace (typically management), those who believe they have demonstrated they can work effectively remotely (typically team members) and those that recognise hybrid working as a compromise they can live with and work towards.
Regardless of which camp you belong to, here are a few Remote Working Stats to get the most hybrid working averse leader to sit up and take notice.
Stats for the leadership team
While many leaders still yearn for the yesteryear of full-time office working culture, employees are embracing the freedom, autonomy and work-life balance that remote or hybrid working offers. It may surprise some leaders to read this Microsoft report that shows 87% of hybrid working employees report that they are productive at work.
Yet conversely, only 12% of the leaders say they have complete confidence that their team is productive. This is interesting though, given statistics from the same study show that on the whole, employees are actually more productive, with more hours worked, more meetings attended and growth in other work activity metrics.
Furthermore, companies can save money by switching to fully remote or a hybrid working model! Harvard and Stanford research shows the average business can save up to $11,000 per employee per year just by switching to a hybrid model.
The good news here is that remote and hybrid working can and is working in many companies. Could it be perhaps, the leadership team need to look at how other organisations have structured remote working, adopt similar practices and policies and have a little more trust in their greatest assets?
This sounds like a win-win scenario for both employees and managers alike!
Remote Working Stats the teams can relate to
From the typical employee perspective, remote working makes us happier! it’s official according to a study from Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics. Research seemed to suggest 74% of employees feel happier when working remotely. This is something I can certainly attest to having been a remote worker for the almost 10 years now.
Reasons for this include:
- Quieter and more comfortable work space
- Less interruptions and greater focus opportunities
- Less time wasted in travel
- Less office politics
- Improved mental health management
- Greater flexibility in working hours
- Home/life balance
You could wonder why anyone would want to go back to the office or workplace.
There are many reasons why employers want employees back in the office. For greater collaboration, corporate training, onboarding new employees, cross-skilling team members, establishing the company culture, to name just a few. But what reasons could their be to for employees to want more office time.
One potentially compelling reason for employees to return, at least in a hybrid capacity, is to combat loneliness and/or spend time with work colleagues and friends.
Loneliness is the silent pandemic that doesn’t seem to get any air-time, and was only exasperated by the Covid pandemic yet still, for the most part, ignored. The UK Government site, Gov.uk, have provided Guidance for Employers and loneliness and calls for a response from all aspects of society to combat the generic loneliness challenge many face. They estimate the cost of loneliness to UK employers to be £2.5 billion every year, due to increased staff turnover as well as lower wellbeing and productivity, the impact of caring responsibilities and ill health and associated sickness absence.
They highlight the need for having good quality meaningful connections for better outcomes in terms of quality of work, higher wellbeing and greater engagement in work. They go on to say:
By tackling loneliness and supporting employees to build social connections, employers can ensure a more productive and resilient workforce. Workplaces where employees have a strong sense of organisational identity are more able to withstand the effects of recession and maintain performance.
According to the Microsoft survey, 84% of employees would be motivated back to the workplace by the promise of socializing with co-workers, while 85% would be motivated by rebuilding team bonds. Employees also report that they would go to the office more frequently if they knew their direct team members would be there (73%) or if their work friends were there (74%).
Something for employers to consider when thinking about how and when to get employees back in the office, and more importantly, why.
The future of remote and hybrid working
Experts believe the number of remote roles was already on the rise before the pandemic, which then just sent the trend on steroids for a period of time. There are believed to be 3 x more US remote based roles in Jan 2023 than there were in 2020.
‘Remote work has been an overwhelming success for both employees and employers’. according to a survey by PWC in 2021. There was a positive shift in attitudes toward remote working with 83% of employers now say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, compared to 73% in PWC’s June 2020 survey.
So it seems we were already heading in this direction before Covid struck, we had committed to the the flight path, but the pace has now significantly picked up. Remote and hybrid working is here to stay and the sensible course of action is for employers to invest time and effort into making it work to everyone’s advantage.
However, this does present the need for greater focus on communication between the leadership team and employees. A recent report from Forbes suggests employers need to bridge the disconnect by engaging in more direct communication with employees, especially remote workers, to understand their needs and provide support and guidance setting workload priorities. This can help prevent burnout, disengagement and isolation and in turn lead to greater efficiencies, a happier workforce and even, possibly, reduced costs.
Do you need help, ideas and/or efficient tools and channels to drive better communications between your employees and leadership team? TheEngagementWorks are here to help, just reach out via our contact form.