A new survey of nearly 11,000 knowledge workers across France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US shows that demand for flexibility should not be ignored.
According to the survey conducted by Future Forum, a consortium established by Slack and others, the last two years have taught workers one thing: they enjoy the freedom to choose.
In fact, 58% of respondents are currently operating in hybrid work arrangements, an increase of 12% from May of 2021. Even more, 68% say that this is their preferred work arrangement with 12% reporting increased job satisfaction, 15% seeing improved work-life balance, and 25% experiencing less workplace stress.
Support for remote and flexible work was strongest for marginalized groups, with 86% of Hispanic/Latinx, as well as 81% Asian/Asian American and Black workers preferring this arrangement compared to 75% of white respondents. Women also reported more support than their male counterparts.
The data is clear: workers want flexibility in the future. However, leaders are still tiptoeing the line. Many have cited concerns over the lack of in-person connections hindering company culture, while 41% stated having worries over increased inequalities with a distributed workforce.
“Executives are now acknowledging that there has been a shift in the past two years, and they don’t know how to create equity in this new normal,” said Ella F. Washington, an organizational psychologist and professor at Georgetown University.