JPMorgan’s co-president and chief operating officer, Daniel Pinto, told CNBC of work post-pandemic: “Going back to the office with 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time, I think there is zero chance of that.”
There’s no doubt that in the post-pandemic world, a hybrid workplace model is the way of the future. And we’re here for it.
Many businesses were initially forced to consider or implement hybrid, flexible, part-time and contract work arrangements during the pandemic. But it’s an understatement to say they have been pleasantly surprised by the results. These arrangements – which have people in the office part of the time and working remotely part of the time – have been shown to boost employee morale, reduce tardiness, absenteeism and turnover. They also cut down on overhead costs (including office space and benefits) and improve productivity. Workers clearly love them, too: In a LiveCareer survey, people cite flexibility, improved work-life balance, increased productivity, and being able to acquire new career skills as the top reasons they want to continue hybrid work arrangements post-pandemic.
On top of all that, hybrid work arrangements provide all the benefits of in-office work with the flexibility of teleworking. When it comes to mentorship, for example, nothing beats gathering together in person, in real time, to chat, share wisdom, ask questions and bond. In-person meetings are also critical tools for innovating, brainstorming on the fly and bouncing ideas off one another—often to produce something even better.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this inevitable and widespread shift to a hybrid model is that it will allow organizations to reap the benefits of experienced workers—from their expertise to their connections and mentorship capabilities. Flexibility and a certain level of autonomy are paramount for these highly valuable workers; the hybrid model facilitates both of these benefits.
It’s also worth noting that experienced workers have proven to be the best suited to flexible work arrangements: According to a recent AARP survey, Baby Boomers represented the highest percentage of people (45%) who reported “no change” to their personal wellness while working remotely during the pandemic, compared with 21% for Gen X, 20% for Millennials and 15% for Gen Z. A Nintex survey cited by Employee Benefit News had similar findings, reporting that 80% of older workers felt productive while working from home, compared with only half of younger employees.
At WAHVE, we’ve always championed a flexible work environment. While 100% remote work may not be in the cards as there are still many benefits for working in an office with your colleagues, having flexible work arrangements gives employers and employees the best of both worlds. I look forward to seeing where it takes us.