In today's rapidly evolving world, businesses face numerous challenges while adapting to the shifting social, economic, and political landscapes. To maintain a competitive edge and future-proof their operations, embracing hybrid working practices can be a smart and strategic move.
In the past five years, businesses have had to weather a series of once-in-a-generation crises. COVID-19, political unrest, climate change and rising energy prices have all caused high inflation and interest rates.
Against this challenging backdrop, we’ve also seen big banks collapse. The International Monetary Fund admits: “Global economic activity is experiencing a broad-based and sharper-than-expected slowdown, with inflation higher than seen in several decades.”
In this climate, what steps can business leaders take to protect their organisations against further turmoil? In this article, we’ll look at how hybrid is part of the solution to future-proofing your business, while being better for people, profit, and the planet.
Hiring and retaining the right people is crucial to future-proofing your business, and in the competition for top talent it’s hybrid working that will set you apart. This is particularly true when it comes to Gen Z workers, who value “Work-life balance, fair pay and value alignment” above all else. Research by TalentLMs research revealed that 74% of Gen-Zers surveyed ‘would opt for either hybrid or totally remote work.’
And there’s a good reason why people prefer hybrid: it has huge health and wellbeing benefits. Hybrid workers are happier and healthier, with a recent IWG study showing that they exercise more, sleep better and eat more healthily thanks to the time freed up by cutting down on (or cutting out) the commute.
As a result of these health and wellbeing benefits, workers are also more productive, in part because the hybrid model gives them the opportunity to choose when and where they’re likely to be at their most effective. Leading hybrid work expert and economics Professor Nicholas Bloom, quoted in this IWG white paper, places the increase in productivity brought by hybrid at around 3% or 4% — which can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.
It’s also important to note that the rise of hybrid working has placed more emphasis on collaboration than ever before – and there are several science-backed reasons why collaboration yields better productivity. In a hybrid model, workers have the time and space to be productive on their own terms, while regularly coming together at company headquarters or flexspaces to collaborate with renewed focus as a team. Flexspaces also offer opportunities for employees to engage with colleagues or like-minded individuals from different organisations, fostering a rich environment for networking, learning, and problem-solving.
Finally, hybrid is good for the planet. The latest research by IWG and Arup found that hybrid working can lead to an impressive 70% reduction in the UK's emissions and up to 87% in the US. This is primarily due to the decrease in time spent in or commuting to city centres, which reduces emissions from buildings and vehicles.
Strong sustainability credentials are, of course, essential for future-proofing a business in the face of a looming climate crisis, and according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), “Embedding sustainability in strategy is essential to meet evolving investor pressure, consumer demand, and regulatory requirements.” Sustainability has “also been proven to attract top talent, reduce costs, and boost profits”.
In short, hybrid is a no-brainer for people, the planet, and the future of your business.
Discover how IWG can help you future-proof your company with hybrid, with advice on your workplace strategy and access to 4,000 flexible workspaces worldwide.