In the new normal, people matter more than ever.
Remote work was gaining ground even before the pandemic hit. But there is more at stake than lower overheads for organizations or beachside “offices” on remote tropical islands for employees. Over the long term, the only sustainable model is one that offers employees flexibility and choice to the employees and organizations agility and resilience to the organizations. We wanted to understand the evolution of “remote working” into “hybrid working.”
In the latest report from the Capgemini Research Institute – The future of work: From remote to hybrid – we surveyed 500 organizations and 5,000 employees around the world and spoke with academicians and executives. We found that remote working is definitely the new normal – 75% of the organizations expect at least 30% of their employees to work remotely, while over 30% expect 70% of their workforce to become remote. As they transition, organizations are finding that remote work boosted productivity and cost savings, by up to 24% in Q3 2020. But while nearly 70% of organizations expect these benefits to outlast the pandemic, spurred notably by reductions in real estate, facilities management, and business travel costs, employees are feeling apprehensive about the long-term consequences, as burnout starts to take its toll. In fact, half of the new joiners we spoke to said they would quit if remote working were the only option presented to them.
The shift to a hybrid workforce model is inevitable, but you can’t just give your employee a laptop and a bonus to buy a better chair. Organizations have to focus on the employee – on their changing needs and behaviors. It is only by changing the way they manage and lead, by reframing employee touchpoints, and by rebooting the role of the physical workspace – they will create a truly hybrid model and see the improved productivity, lower costs, refreshed managerial roles and strengthened cultural fabric that can be the outcome of this new normal.
Although the way we work is becoming increasingly governed by machine intelligence, the new normal will be nothing without a human dimension. For more information on the future of work, download the report, and check out the podcast: End of the office or return to the office? where we also discuss the impact of the global pandemic on how and where we work, innovate, and collaborate, and whether Covid-19 has simply accelerated what went before.