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The Future of Even More Hybrid Work

Organizations must evolve their traditional modes of operations to survive and thrive in this new era of work.

Hybrid work can be broadly defined as a strategic working model that designs the work experience around and for the worker with the employees having the flexibility to choose where and how they will work. Many organizations have been examining the feasibility of shifting to a hybrid work model for many years due to advancements in remote-work technologies and demands from employees for more flexibility.

The COVID pandemic helped accelerate the timeline for many businesses to consider the move to hybrid work in any serious degree. As the pandemic raged, many organizations scrambled and made heroic efforts to keep its workforce working, wherever employees happened to be, most often in the confines of their homes.

This experience resulted in several key findings:

  • Employee productivity did not decrease as expected but increased in many ways.1
  • The hybrid work model became increasingly popular to employees who could take advantage of the flexibility and self-deterministic aspects of hybrid work.
  • Working remotely fulltime can have its downsides as well, as some employees expressed work-from-home fatigue as the pandemic reached its second year.2
  • On-premises only businesses struggled during the pandemic with more than 200,000 business shuttering permanently in the US alone during the first year of the pandemic.3

However, the shift to hybrid work is broader than supporting more remote workers. Hybrid work is powered by the convergence of people, technologies, and places. As such it will disrupt and evolve all aspects of work and business as far reaching as supply chain management, manufacturing, operations, customer experience, real estate, and many others.

Hybrid work also is popular and most workers want their companies to provide the flexibility of choosing the work style that suits them best. This is illustrated by Cisco research4 that revealed that just 9% of employees want to ever go back to the office on a fulltime basis. The implication is clear: hybrid work is here to stay, and organizations must evolve their traditional modes of operations to survive and thrive in this new era of work.