Workplace debates have experienced high volatility since the pandemic began. Flexible work as a topic was circulated for many years, however the forced remote work nature in alliance with COVID restrictions gave companies a one to two year experiment of the full remote workplace. In response, every company did their best to react quickly to keeping workers safe while maintaining seamless operations and a survivable revenue flow.
According to data released by AT&T Communications, Dubber Corporation, and Incisiv, 81% of executives surveyed said hybrid work will be the working model by 2024, with 56% of actual work performed off-site. The data was collected between Oct. 2021 — Nov. 2021. The survey was targeted toward U.S. executives, 87% above Director level, across five key industries, with 1M+ employees represented, and 34% with companies over $1B in revenue.
Return to the present day. The experiment’s conclusion is that companies prefer a hybrid model, which surprisingly comes with a whole set of flexible work rules than operating a full remote workforce. Technology purchases or platform upgrades originally supported a full-remote model by transferring and spidering operations to many locations at once. To fulfill a hybrid model, those innovations must be able to transfer back-and-forth repeatedly as the worker moves from home office to their office desk.
“Businesses moved with urgency to distance employees. Now they need to do the same when it comes to deploying the tools needed to overcome distance,” said Steve McGovern, CEO, Dubber Corporation. “Closing the gap between a business and their customers and employees should be a priority for every executive.”
While the survey (like many future of work surveys being floated around) first examines what the executives prefer. It does point to the business reality that many companies want to implement permanent remote work, however cannot because of either budget or infrastructure restraints that prevent them from expanding their technology blueprint. That is why 72% of the executives surveyed lacked a detailed hybrid work strategy and 76% do not possess the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to support hybrid working models.
“There’s been a nonreversible shift in the way business is done thanks to the constraints of COVID-19. It’s clear that a successful talent program now requires a hybrid work policy, but that policy needs to be supported by a strategic tech-first cultural reset, to ensure business growth and competition,” said Alicia Dietsch, Senior Vice President with AT&T. “Firms need to ask themselves if they have the in-house expertise to achieve this, or whether it’s now time to go beyond a partner in remote infrastructure rollout to a partner in tech-first remote business strategy.”