Global Trends that will Accelerate the Hybrid Workplace
Staff demanding the ability to work remotely
As lockdowns become a distant memory, many CEOs are developing strategies on getting people back into a normal work routine.
Gone are the days when everyone will be back in the office full time with many staff demanding the ability to work remotely.
Here are 5 global trends that demonstrate the hybrid workforce is here to stay.
All CEOs are looking for ways to improve their people’s productivity and get more things done. The pandemic showed that employees working remotely can be productive. The 2021 Australian Government Productivity Commission Report showed that 75% of employees believed that their productivity remained the same or improved when working from home. Mercer, an HR and workplace firm, reported that 94% of employees surveyed kept productivity at the same or higher than it was before the pandemic.
Employees demand for flexibility
Once you have experienced a new way of doing things that you really enjoyed, it is difficult to go back to what you experienced before. This is what is occurring for many employees: they are demanding a flexible work environment and they are willing to leave if they do not get what they want.
Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University created the phrase ‘The Great Resignation’ to describe the large number of people that will leave their jobs following the pandemic. The Microsoft 2021 Work Trends Index is one of the leading research reports that looked at hybrid work. Their research found that over 41% of the global workforce was considering leaving their employer in the next year, with 46% saying they were more likely to move because they could work remotely.
A trend that many businesses have leveraged during the pandemic is the ability to increase collaboration across geographical boundaries. Rather than being confined to the walls in their office, staff now have the ability to reach out to other offices in other cities or other countries.
Recently I was working with a financial firm that had staff located across the UK and Europe. When I worked with the European division the interesting thing that I found was they were collaborating outside of their local offices. This was leading to more innovative discussions and sharing of strategies, without the need for executive leaders to make it happen.
Securing top talent regardless of location
Most businesses are dependent on the capability and performance of their people. One common challenge that many CEO’s face is securing top talent based on the geographical location of the business’s office location. Now top talent can be secured regardless of where they live and provide more flexibility around where staff want to live.
Advances in technology
Over the centuries one of the constant drivers of change has been technology. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things will continue to drive the push toward a hybrid workforce.
This technology is currently being used in AmazonGo stores that allow customers to scan in on their phone when they enter, then grab items off the shelf and just walk out, with the payment automatically debited to the customer’s stored credit card – eliminating the need to wait in line at the cash register to scan every item individually. This technology is being transferred to workplaces. This technology includes advancements including the ability to use sensors to identify the number of people in a building and which desks are occupied or available in real time. This enables staff to easily identify where to work for the day and their colleagues to easily identify where they are for both work and safety reasons.
These trends and the research driving them show that CEO’s will need to embrace a more flexible hybrid workforce if they want to be successful in the future. Those that don’t will find it harder to retain staff and maintain the positive culture required to stay competitive.