In June 2022, Elon Musk called all his employees back to the office to work 40 hours or more a week, under penalty of express dismissal. This practice has also been adopted by other large tech companies, and has been widely shared on networks. And it raises questions about the durability of hybrid work. Yet according to a survey conducted by the CGT, in partnership with the Directorate of Studies and Statistics of the Ministry of Labor (DARES), 98% of employees are in favor of remote work 2 to 3 days a week at most. Is hybrid work just a trend that is gradually losing momentum, or is it a more profound practice that will last for years to come?
A movement that started long before the pandemic
Today, hybrid work has caught on at many companies and continues to grow in popularity among employees. According to Forbes, 52% of employees worldwide are considering switching to a full-time remote or hybrid job this year.
Remote work became a common practice in companies well before the Covid-19 pandemic, although the pandemic dramatically accelerated its deployment in companies. It is estimated that the first person to “work remotely” did so… in 1950! Norbert Wiener, precursor of cybernetics, supervised the work at an American site while staying in Europe. It was in the 1990s that remote/hybrid work started to get more visibility, having been mentioned at the G7 in 1995 and framed by agreements in 2002 and then in 2017.
Is hybrid work a source of success?
Is remote work beneficial for companies and employees? On the corporate side, it seems so. A Stanford University study followed 16,000 employees working remotely for nine months and observed a 13% increase in performance.
This is consistent with various testimonials from employees who have chosen to work remotely or in a hybrid mode: they actually work more and longer than when they go to the office every day.
The future of hybrid work
According to the World Economic Forum, hybrid work will continue to be a wide spread practice in the coming years. Indeed, 80% of companies are working on digitizing work processes and deploying new technologies, including the adoption of hybrid work. And the report also points out that for employers, 44% of the current workforce could continue to work from home. Consulting firm BCG supports the sustainability of hybrid work in its latest study on the subject: more and more jobs and positions are moving toward a hybrid work mode.
The younger generation wants hybrid work to last
According to “People at Work 2022: The Workforce View Study,” published in July 2022 by the ADP Research Institute, young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are overwhelmingly more likely to work in a hybrid or even 100% remote mode than to return to a 100% face-to-face format. Moreover, 23% of them have already resigned from a job because of the requirement to work 100% face-to-face and more than half, 53%, say they would be willing to resign if their company did not offer remote work.
Work-life balance, the challenge of hybrid work
Work more, but live better. This is how many people summarize the paradox of hybrid work: working hours are extended, as it is common to start earlier and finish later when working from home. It is also common to answer messages, emails, outside of traditional office hours. And at the same time, hybrid work offers a notable improvement of the quality of life, with the reduction of transportation time, the possibility to work a little more at one’s own pace, while being located far from noisy open-spaces and closer to one’s family.
Hybrid work is only effective with the right tools
To remain effective and make life easier for employees, hybrid work must be supported by the right tools: tools that are more personalized, collaborative, robust, and secure. Collaborative Work Management (CWM) solutions, for example, enable all projects, data and information to be brought together in a single centralized platform. The One2Team CWM solution integrates with Microsoft Teams and with third-party tools: each company can easily find its processes and business terminologies in this platform. Each user has access to their tasks and to up-to-date, reliable information in real time.
To learn more about Collaborative Work Management at Scale, contact us!