It started in January 2023 as a slow trickle. However, the movement to get workers back in the offices and phase out hybrid schedules is gaining momentum despite the statistics that point to why the hybrid work culture is a boon for business.
Organizations ranging from Starbucks to Disney are now requiring more in-person workdays or pushing a full return to office life. Amid a tight, demanding labor market environment, CEOs and senior management are boldly stating the obvious: They want workers back in the office.
Perhaps their confidence is premature. A McKinsey & Company article reported that by the end of May 2022, there were 11.3 million job openings just in the US. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a slight decrease in the number of openings in December 2022 (just over 11 million), the sheer number of openings states the obvious: It is still an employee-driven market.
Another thing that organizations need to keep in mind as they move forward: what happens to all the effort and investment into adapting their companies and people to a new work culture? Now that employees are committed and producing, does it make sense to turn away from the effort?
Tough questions, but fortunately the answers are in the numbers. There is plenty of data available to show that hybrid work has distinct advantages not just for the employees, but for the health of the entire business.
Hybrid work cultures attract top job seekers and help retain good employees. Particularly in the insurance industry, which is having a tougher struggle than most industries amid the labor market woes, offering remote work can expand the talent pool and attract job seekers. By removing geographical limitations of most traditional job searches, you can find the right fit for your opening.
Hybrid work is sought after. As more companies bring employees back to the office, studies show that could be a costly mistake. One study reveals that 37% of male and 35% of female workers would start looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office. An astounding 83% of workers say they prefer to work remotely even 25% of the workweek. Another study found that 47% of employees would leave their jobs if offered hybrid work in another company.
Hybrid work keeps employees on board. Likewise, when you offer your employees hybrid work options, they are more likely to be satisfied and stay with your company. One study by Quantum Workplace shows that 81% of hybrid employees are highly engaged – 78% of remote workers are equally engaged.
Hybrid work improves productivity. Global Workplace Analytics data show that remote workers are anywhere from 35-40% more productive than their in-house colleagues, a result that over two-thirds of employers are reporting seeing in their own remote workers.
Hybrid work improves communication. Hybrid work forces companies to concentrate on an area that has seen little focus – employee communication. Because remote work requires new ways of collaborating, organizations learned quickly how to best communicate with employees and just how important targeted communications was. Meetings became brief and topic-driven. Employees collaborated via messaging apps and video calls. Managers checked in much more frequently than when employees were in-house. Communication actually increased among the workforce during pandemic lockdowns and conversations were more intentional.
Removing hybrid work options removes those benefits. It also makes finding employees to fill empty positions that much more difficult. That’s why adopting a hybrid work culture can give your organization a competitive advantage, especially over those organizations that require in-office attendance.
It can also benefit your company to embrace the hybrid work model. Employees are more motivated, job seekers are more interested, and productivity and communication are noticeably improved. Talk about a business boost.