2022 has been a challenging year for workers and employers alike. Employees have faced record levels of burnout and a spiralling cost of living while companies continue to battle historic labour shortages. So what changes can be made to improve the workplace?
New research from Glassdoor’s Economic Research team indicates that hybrid work could be one answer.
Analysing over 527,000 reviews left on Glassdoor by UK employees, the research discovered that hybrid-discussing workers rated their workplace experience far more favourably and applied to fewer jobs than those who did not mention hybrid in their reviews.
- Employees discussing hybrid work are significantly more satisfied than their counterparts
- Workers without flexibility are twice as likely to apply for a new job
- Discussion about ‘hybrid’ up 1600% in the last 12 months in employee reviews
- Hybrid employees have better work-life balance and work autonomy but are at risk of disconnection and career stagnation
- 6 in 10 say hybrid working has helped them to manage the rising cost of living (58%)
What is hybrid work?
Hybrid work is a flexible working model where employees split working in a physical workplace with remote work, which can be at home or in another workplace.
The Office for National Statistics reports that just under a quarter of the UK workforce (24%) works partly from home. For those with office-based roles, Glassdoor found the number of employees with hybrid working patterns increased to nearly two-thirds (64%).
What are the benefits of hybrid work for employees?
Glassdoor’s research revealed that workers who mention ‘hybrid’ in their reviews rated their company significantly higher than those who don’t, indicating greater satisfaction in their role.
A further survey of 2,000 office workers also found that the majority (71%) with flexible work arrangements are happy with their set up. Over half (58%) felt they were more productive and 6 in 10 (62%) were generally happier.
In addition, nearly three-quarters (74%) of hybrid workers said they had greater autonomy over their work and 64% reported improved work-life balance. And 1 in 2 said they were less likely to look for a job.
What are the downsides of hybrid work for employees?
The survey also revealed that four in 10 (43 percent) hybrid workers have found it harder to connect to their colleagues, struggled to learn from their peers (41 percent) or found it challenging to build a relationship with their manager or senior colleagues (41 percent). A third (35 percent) of hybrid workers also feel that their working arrangement has stunted their progression.
This emphasises the importance of companies putting good hybrid work policies in place to ensure workers feel supported, have continued access to learning and development and are connected to their team and managers.
What are the benefits of hybrid work for employers?
As there is no single model for hybrid work, success depends on creating a framework that carefully considers the needs of the business and its employees. When implemented correctly, benefits of hybrid work include reduced operating costs, improved work-life balance and happiness amongst staff, a more engaged workforce, ability to recruit from wider talent pools, and more.
With companies across all industries struggling to hire staff, retaining the talent companies already has become increasingly important.
Glassdoor’s research into the job hunting activity of employees found that those who do not mention hybrid working in their reviews are nearly twice as likely to start job applications within a week of leaving a review on Glassdoor compared to those who do - indicating that companies with positive hybrid work experience are likely to have less turnover.
What are the downsides of hybrid work for employers?
Flexible working is not an option for all companies. The key to successful hybrid working patterns is to create a culture that can support employees equally whether they choose to work from home or in the physical workplace. Without this framework, companies can experience a dilution of company culture and values and a lack of transparency in the workplace.
Hybrid work relies on open and transparent communication between a company’s leadership and its teams. When this breaks down trust can begin to falter, leading to micromanagement. It can be more difficult to spot employee burnout.
Is the future of work hybrid?
Glassdoor’s research shows that ‘hybrid’ is a topic employees increasingly want to discuss. And those who mention hybrid work are significantly less likely to apply to new jobs and more satisfied in their roles. The data suggests that companies need to be open to the benefits of flexible working, which increasingly seems to be the future of our work environment.