The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably reshaped the way we work, leading to major changes in the workforce. A recent in-depth study published by Gallup delves into the evolution of the modern workplace and provides insights into what the future may hold.
Before the pandemic, 60% of remote-capable employees were fully on-site. Fast forward to 2023, and this number has plummeted to just 20%, according to the report. On the flip side, only 8% worked exclusively remotely in 2019, but that figure has now risen to 29%. The most notable trend, however, is the rise of hybrid work — which has become the dominant work arrangement globally.
According to Gallup, five in 10 employees have now adopted this model. This means that approximately 40% of remote-capable employees have transitioned from being entirely on-site to either a hybrid or fully remote setup.
Gallup’s extensive research, which involved surveying over 200,000 employees, indicates that this isn’t just a fleeting response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data suggests that the hybrid model is here and will persist in the coming years.
In fact, eight in 10 chief human resources officers (CHROs) from Fortune 500 companies reported no plans to decrease remote work flexibility in the upcoming year, according to Gallup. This aligns with changes in employee preferences and demands — with nine in 10 remote-capable employees favoring some form of remote work flexibility.
Gallup reports that employees are citing better work-life balance, reduced burnout, and increased autonomy due to these new work environments. Employers see reduced turnover, a broader talent pool, and in some cases, even an uptick in productivity. However, the transition hasn’t been without challenges. Concerns over collaboration, communication, and maintaining company culture persist among leaders.
One key takeaway from the data is the importance of intentionality in hybrid work. Employers need to ensure that office days are utilized for team collaboration, professional development, and relationship-building. The office environment should be conducive to these kinds of activities, and employees should see and feel the company culture come alive when they step into traditional office spaces.
As the world continues to adapt to this new way of working, it’s crucial for organizations to listen to their employees, provide the necessary training, and create a flexible yet structured environment that fosters productivity and well-being.