The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have transformed the way we think about work. One of the biggest shifts has been the rise of hybrid work, allowing employees to work part-time from home while still coming into the office part-time as well. The idea is to combine the best elements of work from home and in-office work, resulting in a more flexible mode of work that opens new doors and new ways of considering work-life balance.
As hybrid work continues to become the “new normal” for many workers and companies, Gallup surveyed over 8,000 remote-capable U.S. employees in June 2022 to learn more about location preferences, work product, and how hybrid work could look going forward.
The first major insight from the survey is that a majority of U.S. workers say their job can be done remotely or partially remote. 56% of full-time employees (over 70 million workers) say their jobs can be performed working from home. Among these remote-capable employees, 49% say they are currently working hybrid, while 29% are remote-only and 22% work on-site only.
Compare these numbers with Gallup’s findings on how workers would prefer to work. 60% of workers say they would like a hybrid work setup to be their permanent work arrangement, while 34% would like to permanently work from home. In reality, however, fully-remote positions are expected to decrease to somewhere closer to 20% of jobs. Meanwhile, around 20% of workers are expecting to be on-site full time in the near future (down from 60% in 2019) — and only 6% actually want to be fully on site.
This gap between employee preferences and actual job requirements can have a real impact on job performance, Gallup found. Workers who are required to work with location arrangements that do not match their preferences report significantly higher rates of burnout and intent to leave, as well as lower engagement and lower “thriving life evaluation” (a metric summing up how well respondents feel their job allows them to live the life they want). 60% of current remote employees even say they are “extremely likely” to seek a new job if their current one does not offer adequate remote flexibility, and 29% of current hybrid employees say the same.
In short, Gallup’s research highlights something many have already suspected: remote and hybrid work are here to stay, and workers are not interested in giving up the flexibility and the work-life balance they’ve been able to achieve with these arrangements. Going forward, it’s more important than ever for companies to evaluate worker motivations and preferences and develop a strategy to address those needs while continuing to focus on overall excellence in company output.
By Ruben Moreno
About the Author
After a 25-year career in Corporate Human Resources and HR Executive Search, Ruben Moreno and his two partners co-founded Blue Rock Search based on a simple but ambitious vision of creating a firm that would “Change Lives and Organizations One Relationship at a Time.” Ruben leads the Blue Rock HR Executive Search practice specializing in the identification, assessment, recruitment, and onboarding of Chief HR Officers and Chief Diversity Officers and their respective teams — inclusive of leaders in Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards, HRBP’s, Learning & OD, HR Technology, HR Operations, and HR Analytics. Ruben has helped place hundreds of HR Executives and built deep relationships within the CHRO community across multiple industry verticals. His clients consider him a trusted partner who takes the time to understand their business and add value beyond executive search.