Economic growth can come from increased productivity, and the hybrid model gives workers the opportunity to choose when and where they’re likely to be at their most effective.
Hybrid working saves money. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a typical employer can save around $11,000 every year for every person who works remotely half of the time. When multiplied across a whole organisation, this can amount to a significant sum of cash that can be redirected into growth or training, for example.
And hybrid working also boosts productivity. Research by IWG found that companies are realising that their workforces can be both highly engaged and productive while working according to a hybrid model of home, local office and corporate HQ. According to IWG’s survey, three times the number of FTSE 250 companies are currently looking to employ a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way as pre-pandemic. A study by Forrester in May predicted that 70% of US and EU companies are planning a full shift to hybrid working.
The productivity boost of hybrid working comes from combining the best of both worlds. On the one hand, some work requires quiet and focused thinking free from interruption. Sometimes the home can be the best place for this but, if there are distractions such as children or other family members on hand, the quiet areas of a local flexspace are more appropriate. A large corporate HQ tends to have too many distractions.
But we also need times when we get together for brainstorming and collective problem solving. Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, believes this kind of collaboration is essential for companies to thrive.
“I fear this collapse in office face time will lead to a slump in innovation,” he said of the effects of lockdown. “The new ideas we are losing today could show up as fewer new products in 2021 and beyond, lowering long-run growth.” Bloom’s research has shown that face-to-face meetings are essential for developing new ideas and keeping staff motivated and focused.