Hybrid or Remote: What is the Future of Distance Working?

Hybrid or Remote: What is the Future of Distance Working?

Since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the number of people working from home, and many companies are now re-evaluating the work experience they offer, and are considering not only remote options, but also hybrid ones – where employees can work from home on some days of the week, and come into the office for others.

Nearly 38% of fully remote workers say they would prefer hybrid work, with the option to have flexibility and a work-life balance that suits their needs, but is combined with the reassurance of having the office environment, engaging with other team members, and touching base.

Not every industry can offer these working formats, in fact at least 50% of employees in industrialized countries are working jobs that they can only do on site. But of those that are working remotely, 80% of employees globally reported being as or more productive, and hybrid teams may increase overall productivity by a further 5%.

But is remote and hybrid working a trend that was brought about by the pandemic, and is it likely to continue? Will people want to go back to the office once they’ve been used to working from home?

Why People Want to be Remote

There are many different reasons why people don’t want to be travelling back and forth to the office, and want to work from home, Microsoft WTI conducted an external survey in 2022 and found that the top five reasons were:

  • Personal wellbeing or mental health (24%)
  • Work-life balance (24%)
  • Risk of getting COVID-19 (21%)
  • Lack of confidence in senior management / leadership (21%)
  • Lack of flexible working conditions (21%)

The results of the survey show that a considerable number of employees are concerned about their work-life balance, the lack of confidence in management, and the lack of options in their working conditions – and even with most of the pandemic restrictions lifted, these areas of concern are not related and unlikely to go away.

Some businesses have seen much success with remote and hybrid options because it largely addresses these areas of concern, and according to a Harvard Business review in the U.S., 47% of workers prefer to work in a hybrid model, with a further 32% wanting to stay fully remote, and only 21% wanting to return full time to the office.

This situation isn’t limited to the United States either, in the UK 59% of workers want to opt for hybrid work, with another 23% favouring fully-remote work, and only 18% wanting to be back in the office full-time.


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