The future of work is hybrid and it will boost talent, performance

Workplaces might never return to 'business as usual,' writes this expert.
By: | August 24, 2021

While vaccines continue to roll out across the world and daily life continues to inch towards normalcy, the global pandemic will have a significant impact on the workforce for the foreseeable future. This includes the way in which offices operate as well as what an “employee” looks like in a culture increasingly dominated by the gig economy.

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Individuals have quickly become accustomed to working from home, for example, with nearly half of the American workforce embracing it full-time, according to Stanford research. And according to a recent survey, many organizations expect both the percentage of employees working from home part-time as well as full-time to double what they were pre-pandemic.

The modern workplace might not ever return to “business as usual,” particularly when it comes to employee expectations. Instead, the future of work will more likely come in the form of the hybrid office.

The Hybrid Push

A late 2020 survey conducted by Slack found that of the 9,000 respondents, 63% wanted to utilize a hybrid working model. This information comes as many big corporations are determining their path forward post-COVID-19. Many of the world’s most successful tech organizations such as Apple and Google are embracing a mix of work from home and work from office plans, with Google taking things a step forward with plans to test out flexible work weeks.

A Popular Decision

Perhaps unsurprisingly, remote work has become a popular prospect across much of the workforce. A recent 2021 report from Microsoft found that 73% of employee respondents expected to retain the right to work from home at least part of the time. Perhaps more surprisingly, the idea was also popular among employers, with 66% of businesses considering redesigning their physical locations for optimal hybrid work environments.

Why HR Should Go Hybrid

Hybrid workplaces are not only important for convenience. They might, some studies show, have the power to overcome talent shortages in a variety of spheres around the world. While the workforce is seemingly flooded with qualified candidates, a significant number of posts are going unanswered. Hybrid schedules are in a position to solve the problem and turn freelancers into viable workforce additions.

Organizations will no longer be limited in their candidates by geographical location, allowing them to choose from a much larger talent selection of potential employees. HR can help solve this talent shortage by supporting both current and future employees as they work remotely just as they do with employees who work from the office full-time.

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Related: How to embrace the new world of hybrid work

The future of work is quickly shaping up to be a combination of remote work and in-office work. This hybrid approach is not only effective for filling talent shortages but also allows employees the opportunity to define their own schedules and optimize their working time, potentially leading to performance gains and other organizational benefits.


Learn more about the future of work at the upcoming HR Tech Conference & Expos, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Las Vegas. Click here to register and for more information.

Top 100 HR Tech Influencer Tyrone Smith Jr. is global director, Head of People Analytics and Insights at Udemy.

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