Hybrid Work’s Future Depends On Where And What Employees Do

The future of work, be it in-person, fully remote or a hybrid model, can depend on the city, company size and job type, post-pandemic. Research from placement firm Robert Half found that most companies expect a full return to the office once the pandemic ends, but managers' views about the future of hybrid work vary by city, practice area and company size.

Robert Half’s study found that 71 percent of respondents said they will require their teams to be on-site full time once COVID-19-related restrictions completely lift, 16 percent said they will divide time between the office and another location and 12 percent will give staff the complete freedom to choose where they work.

Previous research reveals, however, that nearly half of employees (49 percent) prefer a hybrid arrangement, and about one in three professionals (34 percent) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office five days a week. In addition, a separate survey finds that 43 percent of workers feel much more productive when remote versus in the office.

"When it comes to hybrid work, there's a disconnect between what managers prefer and what employees expect," says Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald. "But in this talent-driven market, especially, companies need to prioritize their people and look to the future. Providing flexibility is a low-cost way to create a positive employee experience and inclusive workplace culture."

As for where hybrid opportunities may prevail, managers most likely to favor flexibility reside in Boston (45 percent), San Francisco (38 percent) and Philadelphia (37 percent), work in marketing (30 percent) and finance (28 percent) departments, and work at large organizations with 1,000 or more employees (30 percent).

McDonald adds, "As a company that has embraced hybrid work, we've experienced some of the challenges and opportunities first-hand. It's a moving target that requires ongoing commitment and collaboration from many teams, but the outcome of increased employee morale, productivity and retention is worth the investment."

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