As companies debate the best way to return employees to the office full-time, a new survey suggests that a majority of technologists really want a hybrid work model.
That insight comes from Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists on a variety of issues, with paired with expense-management platform TravelBank. According to their data, the 64 percent who want a hybrid model (i.e., coming into the office part of the time) significantly outnumber the 28 percent who want to work remotely full-time. (The survey gathered 5,100 respondents.)
The data from Blind is reinforced by other studies over the past year or so. Over the summer, the Dice Sentiment Survey showed that technologists really like working from home—but also that, if they had to choose an ideal schedule, they would opt for a mix of remote and in-office work.
Although executives might fear that employees’ work ethic will suffer if they spend too many days per week away from the office, there’s additional evidence that a flexible schedule can provide benefits to both individuals and teams. However, the key is ample communication within teams, as well as between technologists and managers. Clear-cut schedules and workloads are also a necessity for hybridized work.
Some larger technology companies also plan to embrace the hybrid model once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in an internal memo that his company will begin following a “flexible workweek,” with many employees working from home two days per week.
“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Mr. Pichai wrote, according to The New York Times. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model—though a few are starting to test it—so it will be interesting to try.”
Microsoft is also moving to a flexible model, despite CEO Satya Nadella’s very public dislike of remote work. According to Microsoft’s new guidelines, employees who like the hybrid model can work from home for less than 50 percent of their week. There’s also the option to work remotely full-time, but that will require managerial clearance.
Given how the tech industry works, smaller companies usually follow the lead of the giants. If you have the option of hybrid work, take the time to establish a firm schedule before you begin. For example, reserving in-office days for collaboration and meetings, and at-home days for “deep work,” can make things smooth for both you and your team.