Analysing the Five Crucial Insights from the 2023 Global Hybrid Work Report
The landscape of work has seen remarkable shifts ranging from groundbreaking to bizarre, with one substantial transformation gaining ground.
Feature with HYER
Five Crucial Insights from the 2023 Global Hybrid Work Report:
Implementing a four-day work week
The spread of AI and automation tools
The widespread incorporation of executive hammocks in workplaces to encourage corporate nap times
The landscape of work has seen remarkable shifts ranging from groundbreaking to bizarre, with one substantial transformation gaining ground since the pandemic instigated our exchange of formal attire and long commutes for casual clothing and Zoom meetings - the hybrid work model.
The hybrid model is here to stay. The adoption rates of remote and hybrid work fluctuate across various nations and sectors, but most organizations now allow employees to work remotely up to three days per week. Enterprises operating entirely remotely are still a novelty globally, but a significant portion of employers (43%) now provide their onsite workers the option to choose several days a week or month to work from home or elsewhere. 45% of organizations permit their employees to work remotely up to three days per week.
The adaptive work model strategy is no longer a mere temporary solution organizations adopted to preserve operations amid crisis times. It has evolved into the preferred business strategy leaders depend on for long-term resilience.
In partnership with the research firm Statista, we recently conducted a survey of over 500 digital workplace decision-makers worldwide.
The responses confirm that the hybrid work model has become a standard for the majority of global companies as business leaders compete fiercely for talent while striving for efficiency and sustainability.
Our survey also reveals that the adoption of hybrid work plays a significant role in various facets of strategic decision-making. From real estate investments to the emphasis on cybersecurity approaches effective for both remote and onsite employees, these initiatives will likely remain a priority in the upcoming year.
Delve further to uncover the five most critical findings from our latest research.
Hybrid working is now the standard
While adoption rates of hybrid and remote work vary across nations and sectors, a significant majority of global companies now allow their employees to work remotely up to three days a week (71%).
Organizations operating fully remotely are still rare globally, but most employers grant their onsite workers the liberty to choose several days each week or month to work from home or a remote location.
Many companies choose this route due to the widespread belief that remote workers outperform their in-office counterparts. 63% of survey participants agreed that remote work correlates with heightened productivity, a sentiment particularly popular in countries like Sweden and Germany, where about a third of decision-makers claim that location bears no impact on employees' productivity.
The function of the office is evolving
Just because the hybrid work model is now commonplace globally doesn't mean the office's role is waning.
That 43% of organizations adopt an office-first hybrid working strategy illustrates the continued importance of physical workspaces for fostering collaboration, reinforcing organizational cultures, and establishing interpersonal relationships within teams.
Indeed, nations with higher adoption rates of hybrid work also tend to see above-average increases in business real estate investments. Many companies are redesigning their offices to enhance co-working and collaboration, dedicating less desk space to individual work.
Among the survey's participants, 62% reported that their company increased its real estate investments over the past three years, and 94% agree that their real estate strategy is influenced by hybrid work adoption.
Employee experience is guiding workplace decision-making
Talent is an organization's single most vital asset, setting your enterprise apart from the rest. However, employee expectations have shifted. The quest for a more flexible, gratifying work experience has led to significant reshuffling in numerous industries over the past three years. This shift has driven many organizations to reevaluate how they recruit, retain, and maintain happy, productive employees.
The examination of workplace decision-making's key drivers reflects this. Overall, employee well-being emerged as the primary driver of decision-making, closely followed by productivity. These objectives are so vital that most organizations are adjusting operational processes and implementing new technology solutions to better accommodate remote and hybrid workers. 77% of survey respondents stated that their organizations had adopted flexible working hours, while many have made substantial investments to counter "proximity bias" – leaders' tendency to favor employees physically closer to them within the workplace.
The macro-economic climate's impact on recruitment and such employee-centric drivers in the near future is uncertain. However, what's clear is that employee experience, more than cost-saving and efficiency, is central to working model decision-making.
The mass shift towards hybrid work is continually under review
While the majority of our survey respondents reported their organizations are embracing hybrid work in some form, this trend is still in its nascent stage. Consequently, stakeholders continue to experiment with and question the working models their companies are testing.
60% of respondents who have implemented hybrid working stated they would be reassessing their strategies within the next 12 months, with 18% saying they are perpetually assessing.
Modern businesses must develop robust, sustainable organizational cultures. However, they must also be prepared to adapt their working models to future changes, whether they be regulatory, economic, or technological.
A recent regulation approved by lower house has made working from home a legal right in the Netherlands. This development has led to speculation about regulatory trends elsewhere globally: will other countries with strong histories of worker protection rights follow suit? With working models continually under scrutiny and review, stakeholders must carefully consider how their organizations can remain flexible and adaptable, regardless of future uncertainties.
Zero Trust is critical
When survey participants were asked about their primary challenges and priorities concerning hybrid working, "improving cybersecurity" topped both lists.
In the face of a challenging labor market and economic uncertainties, companies worldwide are also confronting a challenging cyber threat landscape. Identity-based attacks reached record levels last year, while credential abuse remained the most common threat action taken in data breach attacks. At the same time, ransomware activity also reached an all-time high.
In light of these escalating risks – along with the necessity of enhancing the employee experience and collaboration – increasing numbers of organizations worldwide are adopting identity-powered Zero Trust approaches to cybersecurity. These offer robust defenses in a world where people are the new network perimeter. Adopting Zero Trust – especially when achieved by deploying technologies that support strong authentication for all services and seamless access to IT resources for both onsite and remote users – can empower organizations to balance security and productivity, transforming them into mutually enabling objectives.
In conclusion, businesses that excel at building enduring, employee-centric hybrid work strategies will be those that best provide robust security and frictionless access to applications, data, and resources. These organizations will be best positioned to offer their employees fair, rewarding experiences in the workplace, regardless of their location.
The fact that the office-first hybrid has become the dominant hybrid working model globally underscores the continuing importance of the physical office in organizations. This fact is also reflected in the increased investment in real estate since the pandemic. Instead of cutting back on real estate expenses, organizations are investing to reconfigure workspaces to better facilitate face-to-face conversation and collaboration.
According to the 2022 JLL Global Research Future of Work Survey, at least 73% of organizations plan to reduce the amount of dedicated desk space in their offices and increase the amount of open co-working space available to teams. This research also reveals that organizations now view collaboration as the main purpose of their physical workspaces, with 55% of larger enterprises (companies with over 10,000 employees) ranking 'facilitating collaboration' among their top