Attitudes to Hybrid Working
Is Hybrid Working Key to Staff Well-being?
In May 2022 we conducted a large survey looking into burnout, work-life balance and attitudes to hybrid working. We’re going to delve into our findings on the hot topic of burnout. We’re all talking about it, but what is it, and are we suffering from it? In this survey, we looked at a cross-section of sectors including; marketing, sales, account management, PR, advertising, HR and project management.
Following our survey and blog post about burnout, we delved back into attitudes about our working environment and asked our survey respondents about hybrid working. Following lockdowns and forced home working, some employers embraced the new-found flexibility and maintained hybrid working patterns. So what does hybrid working do for your productivity, work life balance and your team?
Just under half of the respondents surveyed felt they had a good work-life balance and the results showed a high correlation between work-life balance and perceptions of burnout symptoms. As you might expect, the 19% who were very dissatisfied with work-life balance reported almost daily symptoms of burnout.
We then looked into whether types of industry impacted our respondents satisfaction with work-life balance.
Respondents working in administration roles appear to be the most satisfied with their work-life balance. Only 3% answered that they were very dissatisfied, 50% were satisfied and another 10% were very satisfied.
Of the sectors covered by respondents, project management threw up an interesting result. As a role that often takes employees into unsociable or extended hours at work, only 5% were very dissatisfied with their work-life balance and nearly 40% were actually satisfied, with a further 11% being very satisfied.
It would be easy to assume that long, stressful and anti-social hours would influence our perception of work-life balance. If those factors aren’t the overriding influence, what is?
Of all the factors offered to respondents to improve work-life balance, 22% said that hybrid working and increased holiday was their preference. Our respondents felt that holiday, flexible working and hybrid working were key in achieving work-life balance.
Surprisingly, very few respondents felt that increased pressure or workload influenced their work-life balance. Again, suggesting that we can cope or even thrive with pressures on us at work, as with a project management role, if our employers can offer us flexible working conditions.
Flexible and hybrid working is viewed as key to achieving work-life balance
Neat half of all respondents said that hybrid working was available as an option in their organisation. This was much higher particularly in marketing & PR where 73% working in these sectors said hybrid working was an option.
Predictably, retail and hospitality had the least flexibility to offer hybrid working
Hybrid working is associated with a number of positive outcomes for organisations and employees with 25% feeling that hybrid working improved employee satisfaction. 39% agreed that it improved staff well-being with a further 23% strongly agreeing.
Teamwork and communication appear to be the compromises felt with hybrid working, with 32% agreeing that hybrid working reduces teamwork (and a further 9% strongly agreed). 29% agreed that hybrid working decreased communication with 9% strongly agreeing with that statement.
39% say hybrid working improves staff well-being
What is the best balance between working from home and in the office?
Interestingly hybrid working arrangements were considered to boost productivity, with 3:2 combinations being the most popular for optimal productivity.
36% felt that two days at home and three in the office is the ideal hybrid arrangement to optimise productivity, whereas 31% felt that three days at home and two in the office was optimal.
Is Hybrid Working a generational view?
Across the age ranges asked, most felt that five days in the office was not necessary to boost productivity, with only one age-range pushing above 10% on this answer. 15% of 55-64yr olds did consider employees should be in the office five days a week to boost productivity. The small numbers here perhaps indicating the biggest cultural shift we’ve seen in attitudes to work and working from home?
41% of 18-24 yr olds felt that three days in the office was the optimal balance. Is this connected to experience and seniority? Can we conclude that people at the start of their career do want closer contact with peers and managers to learn and develop?
Most respondents felt that hybrid working was a permanent shift in culture and that where organisations could offer this flexibility, it was a welcome evolution of our working patterns.
Most illuminating for us was the understanding that workload and stress at work weren’t the significant factors in our perception of work-life balance. Employees are looking for flexibility and time off to boost that balance, not reducing workload.
If you’re looking to delve into the big questions and gain insightful data to inform your next campaign or to affect real change, talk to us about our surveys, quick polls and data analysis tools. Get in touch via our Contact page, and let’s get to work.