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Hybrid Work Series Part 3: The Business Case for Hybrid Workplaces

Jul 6 2021

The seemingly global embrace of hybrid work didn’t happen overnight. This progressive shift towards more flexible workplaces is the result of treating the past year as a learning experience, as opposed to chalking it up as an inconvenience.

For employees, the shifts in and out of the office, from in-person to remote work and back again has taken a more flexible mindset and rethinking of typical protocols. The employees they are today are different from the employees who packed up their desks and left the office to work from home in March 2020. 

Microsoft data showed that hybrid work is a priority for businesses and employees alike. 66% of leaders are ready to redesign their workspaces for hybrid work and 67% of employees want more in-office collaboration as a part of that redesign.

If companies are unable to evolve alongside their employees and accommodate their new needs with hybrid policies, they run the risk of losing their talent to other, more flexible organizations.

Why Companies are Choosing the Hybrid Work Model

From HR goals to use of real estate, hybrid work has become an efficient business model for organizations across industries, sizes, and stages of growth. 

1. Companies who offer hybrid work options have lower turnover rates.

Offering remote, flexible, and hybrid work options has been a popular perk for many employees in recent years. Now that more employees have experienced working remotely in the last year, some are not excited by the prospect of a traditional inflexible schedule. According to a recent Great Place to Work survey, 88% of employees want to continue working remotely. Additionally, Forbes reports only 9% of employees want to return to full-time in-office work.

And even at the executive level, a survey by PwC found that less than one in five executives want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. Savvy employers are instituting the hybrid work model to stave off a potential “resignation boom.” 

  2. Hybrid workplaces make more effective use of office space with individual and collaborative workstations.

Creating a hybrid workplace goes beyond the policies and schedules you enact, it also depends on the office space and workstations available to your employees. Remember, the employees you are welcoming back to the office have different needs. According to VergeSense Innovation’s recent Workplace Impact Report, 82% of enterprises have hired employees outside of pre-COVID locations in the last year. As more companies have a more distributed workforce, hybrid working and agile seating holds a clear economic benefit. After all, why pay for dedicated desks for every single knowledge worker when they are spending half the week (or more) working from home? The hybrid workplace transforms the traditional workplace from a costly warehouse of underused, assigned desks to a value-producing collaboration hub where employees choose where, when, and how they want to work. 

3. Hybrid work options are an expectation for today’s job candidates.

For those employees who are new to the workforce, remote work has become an expectation. In addition to these recent graduates, 40% of the global workforce is considering leaving their current employer this year. The primary recruitment tool for companies looking to attract and retain talent? Offering hybrid and flexible work schedules. With 70% of workers wanting flexible remote work options from their company, organizations are coming up with new ways to keep up with their evolving workforce. One way to accommodate these needs while enticing workers to return to the office as part of hybrid schedules is to redesign the office space to better suit it for hybrid work, a task that 55% of businesses are undertaking.

4. Hybrid work enables employees to be more productive.

While it’s possible that individuals might fib about their working from home productivity levels with the hopes of earning a few extra days of working in their pajamas each year, numbers don’t lie and the numbers are confident that flexible work schedules lead to more productive employees. Such as:

  • 94% of employers report that company productivity has been the same (67%) or higher (27%) since employees started working from home during the pandemic.
  • 75% of employees working remotely report being able to maintain or improve productivity on their individual tasks, and 51% say the same about collaborative tasks.
  • 73% of employees report increased job satisfaction when given a flexible work arrangement.
  • 86% of employees feel that a flexible work schedule reduces stress. 

Using Data to Navigate the Challenges of Going Hybrid

When companies choose to offer a hybrid work model, they need to both back up the initial decision with data and use data to monitor ongoing employee activities. 

Using high-tech, smart office wireless sensors powered by AI, organizations can collect the activity data they need to learn how their employees work, such as:

  1. How often are people coming into the office?
  2. What times of day or week are the most popular? 
  3. What times are the least popular?
  4. How many people most commonly attend meetings?
  5. Do employees frequently book rooms then ghost, leaving spaces unused?
  6. Did you build an employee lunch and learn room that’s never been used? 

These are the types of questions and data points leading companies use to make informed design decisions that ultimately create more efficient spaces and improve overall employee experience. The future of work is employee-centric, flexible, and dynamic, and even more importantly, data-driven.

VergeSense offers advanced workplace analytics with actionable insights to support a dynamic workforce. Request a demo and talk to a VergeSense representative about how occupancy sensing and workplace analytics can support your transition to hybrid working.

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