‘Underappreciated’ Hybrid Work Model Benefits Both Companies And Employees

Although many employees are keen on hybrid work, some employers and leaders are less excited, citing productivity concerns. 

However, more studies confirm that hybrid work can actually have a positive impact on productivity and performance with a more recent study conducted by Stanford University researcher Nick Bloom.

Hybrid work and productivity

The six months of research found that self-reported productivity increased 1.8% for the hybrid group.

In addition, the research based on the technology firm Trip.com noted that working from home did not impact their performance rating or their opportunities for promotions. This suggests that proximity bias, where employees working from home are out of sight, out of mind, and therefore overlooked for promotions and pay rises, was not at play for the company.

Hybrid work and attrition

What is more, the study identified that hybrid work is not only a net positive for productivity, but also for job satisfaction and attrition rates.

Based on the Trip.com trial, it was found that hybrid work reduced the attrition rate by 35%. In comparison, the attrition rate for the group who worked from home two days a week over the six months was 4.1%, whereas it was 7.2% for employees who worked in the office full time.

The hybrid group’s self-reported work satisfaction scores also increased, as did the likelihood that they would recommend the employer to friends.

Hybrid work and work habits

Besides the improvement in employee attrition and productivity, the paper also highlighted how hybrid arrangements alter work schedules and habits. 

Employees worked fewer hours on remote days, and they actually worked longer hours on their office days, and were more likely to work on weekends. In total, employees worked about 80 minutes less on home days but about 30 minutes more on other work days and the weekend.

This is proven by those who send more messages outside of the core working hours of nine to five – this growth of asynchronous communication has been identified in previous studies on the benefits of hybrid and remote work.

Bloom’s study concluded that while the hybrid group may be working fewer hours since their performance and productivity was higher than the office-only group, they were likely working more efficiently per hour.

The bottom line

The research concluded: “Overall [the data] highlights how hybrid-WFH is often beneficial for both employees and firms but is usually underappreciated in advance”.

With the unemployment rate near its lowest level in five decades, even some of the staunchest critics of work from home have changed their tune to attract and retain employees. 

What is your take on hybrid work?