- More companies are announcing hybrid and remote work plans for the post-pandemic workplace.
- After a year of remote work, businesses now know how to leverage flexibility and create better work arrangements.
- Here are some interesting stats you should know.
The end of the pandemic has not resulted in a rush back to the office—nor is it expected to anytime soon. That’s because a year of working from home has redefined work life—and with the increased productivity and other benefits businesses and employees alike have realized working remotely, many organizations are reconsidering the role of the office.
But this doesn’t mean physical workplaces are becoming obsolete. This month Google announced plans to transition its workforce to a hybrid model, with most employees splitting their time between home (or other remote locations) and the office. The announcement follows those of a growing number of enterprises—including organizations like Citigroup and Lockheed Martin—who are also switching to more flexible work arrangements.
Whether your organization is still deciding what work will look like in the future or is actively planning for how to support hybrid and remote workforces, here are six important stats you should know.
1. 1 in 3 employees say they’ll quit if they’re not allowed to continue working from home
It’s not hard to understand why employees want to work from home. Not having to come into the office every day eliminates commute time, allows for better work-life balance, and often makes work easier too because it reduces distraction.
But despite measurable productivity gains, some employers are eager for a full return to the office. It’s worth treading carefully—according to one recent survey, a third of employees would quit their jobs if they were forced to come back to the office on a full-time basis.
2. 67% of employees want more in-person time with colleagues
Despite a desire to work remotely, most employees don’t want to do away with the office altogether. Offices are often a hub for in-person collaboration, team and culture building, and other activities—and that face-to-face contact can drive better connections to the company and relationships with colleagues.
That’s a benefit reflected by research from Microsoft, which found that two-thirds of workers are looking forward to spending more in-person time with their peers.
3. 41% of employees struggled with group work during the pandemic
Of all the types of tasks they had to perform from home, more than four in 10 employees surveyed by RingCentral said that group work was the most challenging, behind things like customer interaction and information gathering.
This stat highlights both a benefit and a challenge: while hybrid workforces may see improvement in group collaboration as face-time is reintroduced, remote and hybrid companies alike will need to make more concerted effort to improve and support collaborative activities that happen remotely.
4. Time in meetings has doubled
It’s interesting to note that at the same time as workers say group work has been more challenging, they’re also dedicated more of their workdays to doing so. Research from Microsoft found that weekly meeting time doubled during the pandemic—and continues to grow. Other forms of communication—email, chat, document sharing—increased significantly too.
What this suggests is that without implementing tools and processes to streamline and improve communication, remote and hybrid workers may face an increased risk of burnout and digital overload.
5. More than half of companies did not try to improve remote work
It’s understandable that collaboration suffered in the rush to work from home in the early days of the pandemic. But 53% of employees surveyed by RingCentral said their companies didn’t make any significant attempts to improve remote collaboration—and making that same mistake while transitioning to permanent remote or hybrid work may limit the success of such a move.
6. Connection and productivity go hand in hand
Fostering stronger connections between remote employees is about more than just feeling good—or getting better results from group work. Our research showed a strong correlation between having a sense of connection with colleagues and overall productivity.
Of those who rated themselves as most productive, 71% reported a stronger sense of connection with their coworkers during the pandemic, compared to 22% who felt the same or less connected.
Originally published May 18, 2021, updated Jan 18, 2023