The data now confirms it: the work-from-anywhere/work-from-home model works, and has passed its most crucial test ever, bringing organizations through the Covid crisis and now a key productivity strategy for the workplace of the 2020s. In a recent report out of Accenture, 83% of 9,326 workers surveyed say they prefer a hybrid model — in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time.
Tellingly, organizations that enable a resilient workforce to be more productive and healthier anywhere are also reaping financial benefits, the study shows. A majority of high-revenue-growth companies, 63%, have already enabled productivity anywhere workforce models, where employees have the option of working remotely or on-site. While the vast majority (69%) of negative or no-growth companies are still focused on where people are going to physically work, favoring all on-site or remote rather than enabling hybrid.
Full-time work from anywhere can be a good thing, but is not optimal for those who are in the earlier stages of their career. Younger people need to be out in the world, forging bonds, gaining mentors, and learning how things work — not sitting alone in front of a screen all day. This is validated by the Accenture survey, which finds a hybrid model that works for all generations may be a challenge: three in four Gen Zers (74%) want more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues face-to-face, a higher percentage than Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (68%).
Those executives leading their organizations through the work-from-home mandates report that organizational support is key. “The pandemic has fundamentally changed how businesses operate and emphasized the importance of workplace flexibility,” says Edward Wagoner, digital CIO of JLL Technologies. “Through our own evolving workplace processes, we realize the success of short and long-term working strategies hinges on employee safety and comfort, data-driven workplace insights, and adaptability to fluid circumstances like government mandates and requirements.”
The events of the past year did finally put one misconception to rest — that enabling employees to work remotely means loss in productivity. If anything, the past year, showed the opposite to be true. The Accenture survey finds that 40% of individuals feel they can be productive and healthy anywhere — either fully remote or onsite or a combination of the two — as the hybrid workplace emerges.