Is Hybrid Really Working?
By Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
Tuesday, 27th February 2024

The concept of work and the workplace have undergone a remarkable transformation since 2020 and businesses across the globe are grappling with a pivotal question: is hybrid really working?.

Some companies are investing heavily in hybrid, while others are putting a stop to fully remote work. There is no one-size-fits-all formula, yet some organizations have been more successful than others in managing their dynamic workforce and creating workplaces that drive productivity and foster innovation.

Our latest research is informed by the experience of over 200 CRE decision makers and draws on the results of employee surveys (over 20,000 individual responses) carried out by our Global Benchmarking Services team on behalf of our clients.

Employees in Singapore are spending at average of 3.4 days in the office which is broadly in line with their preferred arrangements

More organisations mandate office attendance. Potential productivity gains is one of the main reasons for asking people to work in the office

However, most of our respondents feel that they are more productive at home, citing noise and lack of privacy for focused work among key barriers to working from the office

How to make hybrid work

Reconciling employer expectations with employee needs is one of the most pressing challenges facing companies and CRE leaders today. Our research reveals that the most successful hybrid adopters do three things better than their peers:

1. Crack the code of performance

Leading companies know what drives performance in their organization. They understand how physical space and employee expectations impact performance and productivity.

Identifying the new levers of performance will enable companies to better support their dynamic workforce. It’s important to acknowledge that the office has to address the needs of a neurodiverse workforce and to design offices that are not just social hubs but places that can support focused work and privacy.

Make sure you balance collective and individual needs, bringing together technology and design to improve the mix of collaboration spaces with spaces dedicated to privacy and concentration, providing hi-tech, ergonomic workstations across the board.

2. Balance office usage

Because companies do not, on the whole, impose fixed office days, patterns of peak attendance are emerging with most people preferring to work in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Leading companies monitor their employees’ working habits and empower managers to orchestrate their teams efficiently. They create real value in being on site.

Companies can achieve more balanced office usage and boost organizational performance by creating a ‘hybrid playbook’. Clarifying house rules around flexibility and empowering managers to orchestrate hybrid will help minimize workforce frustration and help to maintain the work-life balance they have come to expect.

Empower your managers to play a role in orchestrating hybrid. Train them to manage in a hybrid environment so they develop a workplace community and encourage collaboration during time on site, helping their teams to make the most of the new types of space and technology on offer.

3. Redesign office space

Employers face competing demands to cut costs and encourage office attendance. Shared spaces are seen as the best solution. However, most people spend over 50% of their time in the office on focused work and companies must take this into account when redesigning office space. The most successful hybrid adopters leverage data and design adaptable spaces that reconcile flexibility, sustainability and comfort.

Offices must support focused work and privacy, as well as teamwork and collaboration. Monitor and measure office utilization to inform your strategy and create an optimal work experience.

Continuously assess employee satisfaction and measure the impact of the changes introduced. Identify opportunities for improvement and create an agile environment to support the evolving needs of your organization.

To explore the results of our surveys in full and to find out more about the key elements of the most successful hybrid strategies, download the full report.

Amber Schiada, Flore Pradère, Victoria Mejevitch & Xiaotong Qin

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