Why employees are requesting a hybrid workplace policy
A survey we recently conducted found that 62% of employees prefer a hybrid workplace—meaning they want the option to work both remotely and in the office, whether it’s one or four days during the week. But why exactly are people requesting a hybrid workplace model over a fully remote or in-person approach? This is an important question to explore because the answer may help guide your return to work strategy. We’ll use this post to review the most common reasons employees want to work in a hybrid office.
Why do employees want a hybrid workplace policy?
We looked at the existing research to understand exactly why employees are requesting a hybrid work policy. Below, we outlined the three most common reasons:
In our Return To Office survey, 85% of employees said they want to return to the office. However, another survey found that 39% of employees would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. What does this tell us? It signals that your employees want a choice when it comes to when, where, and how they work. That’s why many workers would be willing to take an average pay cut of 7% to work from home two or three days a week.
With a hybrid approach, employees get the best of both worlds by having the flexibility to pick the work environment they want each day. While the attendance policy of every company may look slightly different, the most important part is giving employees the option to begin with. Embracing a hybrid office policy will not only address your employees’ need for flexibility, but it’ll also give your organization a competitive edge when it comes to the labor market.
Everyone requires a different work environment to reach peak productivity—and those needs may change daily. For instance, there are certain projects that may require employees to work closely together and is more effective in person. On other days, someone may prefer the convenience of working remotely.
A hybrid office policy allows employees to choose which environment they want to work in on a specific day. For instance, someone may choose to work in the office if they need:
- The ability to collaborate with teammates in person
- A space to hold important meetings with customers or clients
- Better resources and amenities (desk, good wifi, and snacks)
- Work-life separation
On the other hand, an employee may occasionally want some of the advantages of working from home, such as:
- The flexibility to do personal tasks (run errands, spend time with the family, etc.)
- Time saved from not commuting
- Getting a break from the office and being in a comfortable environment
Having the option to choose the best setup allows workers to maximize their productivity and deliver high-quality work.
For the past year, everyone was forced to work in isolation and didn’t have many opportunities to connect with their coworkers organically—whether that’s chatting about their favorite television shows over lunch or sharing weekend plans while grabbing a cup of coffee from the office kitchen. As a result, many people are eager to rebuild their relationships with colleagues. In fact, our Workforce Sentiment Survey found that—among employees who have returned to the office—62% said reconnecting with colleagues was what they most enjoyed about being back.
While work relationships are essential to cultivate, spending quality time with loved ones at home is also important. Studies show that having a strong social network of friends and family can positively affect stress, happiness, and wellbeing levels. However, it can be challenging to strike this balance if an employee has to commute to and from the office every day.
A hybrid workplace model allows employees to build significant relationships in all areas of their lives. When they’re craving connection with their coworkers, they can head into the office for a day of socializing and relationship building. If they want to be home for board game night with their partner and children, they can choose to work remotely a few times a week.
Consider a hybrid office policy to meet your employees’ needs
There are many reasons why employees are demanding the hybrid workplace model. To choose the best approach for your organization, make sure to understand the needs of your workforce first. If they cite flexibility, productivity, and relationship building as their priorities, then you know that a hybrid work policy will be a great fit for your organization!