Remy Reya, deputy chief of staff at Compass Pro Bono, splits his work week between his studio apartment, or a local coffee shop, and his Washington, D.C., office, where he typically works three days a week.
While his company mandates in-person days, it works for him.
“Since I’m a hybrid, though, I have to work a little harder to connect with peers,” Reya told Yahoo Finance. “Making space with my teammates to develop the camaraderie that helps us work better together is almost always easier to do in person.”
Many workers, like Raya, are part of the transition to a post-pandemic world of work where hybrid and remote systems have swapped places in terms of prevalence.
In February, 41% of employees working remotely have a hybrid schedule, up from 35% in January 2022, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 5,188 US adults working part- or full-time. At the same time, 35% live completely remote, down slightly from 43% a year ago.
The reversal reflects how more employers are requiring more office hours to foster personal collaboration, even though many employees would prefer to spend fewer days away from home.
“Starting late 2022, we are seeing more companies, both large and small, moving from remote hiring to creating job hybrids,” Gwen Rosner, partner and co-founder of FlexProfessionals, Boston and Washington, D.C. Sectors, a recruiting and staffing firm, told Yahoo Finance. “100% remote status is becoming more elusive.”
(Credit: Pew Research Center)
‘Trying to re-establish internal cultures’
Among hybrid workers who are not self-employed, 63% say their employer requires them to do a certain number of in-person chores per week or month, Pew found.
Similarly, by early 2022, 56% of job searches supported by Rosner’s company were entirely for remote jobs. She said that number has come down to 39% since the beginning of 2023.
Remote jobs are also becoming less attractive pay-wise, another nudge from employers for more person-time. Payscale’s recent 2023 Compensation Best Practices report found that nearly a quarter of employers pay employees who don’t come to the office less than those who work for the same position.
The impetus for the rise of hybrid: FlexProfessional’s clients are “trying to re-establish internal cultures and work processes that have been eroded by the past several years of overwhelming remote work,” Rosner said. “Second, they realize that training and mentoring are more effective and efficient in person and for some types of jobs, that nothing beats personal collaboration.”
For example, a study co-authored by Jonathan Levav of Stanford Graduate School of Business and Melanie Brooks of Columbia Business School found that in-person teams generated more ideas than remote teams working on the same problem. .
A study co-authored by Jonathan Levav of Stanford Graduate School of Business and Melanie Brooks of Columbia Business School found that in-person teams generated more ideas than remote teams working on the same problem. (Getty Creative)
In a lab experiment conducted at Stanford, half the teams worked with each other in person and half worked virtually. According to researchers, in-person teams generated 15% to 20% more ideas than their online teams. In another experiment that tapped 1,490 engineers at a multinational corporation, in-person teams also came up with more original ideas.
One possible reason online meetings produce a dearth of good ideas: “Videoconferencing impedes idea generation because it focuses communicators on a single screen, which leads to a narrow cognitive focus,” the researchers concluded. “As virtual communicators limit their visual field to the shared environment of a screen, their cognitive attention is in turn narrowed. This narrowed attention impairs the associative process underlying idea formation.”
‘A key competitive advantage’
Yet, unlike Reya, some candidates have been slow to accept the shift, and some have moved from work that requires office hours, Rosner said. “Of those who are open to a hybrid arrangement, most are looking for a minimum of three days’ remoteness.”
He scoffs at Pew’s findings. Nearly 3 out of 5 of all hybrid workers said they work from home three or more days in a typical week.
But getting on that schedule can be terrifying. It’s a point of contention when employers like Amazon announce they want them back in the office. The majority of organizations (51%) surveyed by Payscale are experiencing resistance from their workers to “being asked to return” to traditional or hybrid offices.
Amazon’s top human-resources executive reportedly dismissed an internal petition signed by more than 30,000 employees over the company’s return-to-office policy. According to a report in AppleInsider, Apple is tracking employee attendance and has warned employees who don’t work from the office at least three days a week about potential consequences.
According to the Pew Research Center, 41% of employees who can work remotely have hybrid schedules in February, up from 35% in January 2022.
Amy Stewart, associate director of content and editorial at PayScale, said, “Companies that actually offer remote work, which accounts for about 11% of those surveyed by PayScale, are still struggling to attract and retain talent this year. would have a major competitive advantage.” told Yahoo Finance.
Therefore. A good portion of hybrid workers want more home time.
The Pew survey found that of those who currently work from home most of the time, more than a third would like to do it all the time if they had the choice. And of those who are working from home some of the time, half say they would like to do so all or most of the time.
Perhaps that’s why remote work isn’t going all the way back in the bottle, an accommodation that’s much more common than it was before the pandemic, especially among workers.
“Of those jobs that can be done from home, 35% are now working from home all the time,” Kim Parker, director of social trends research at the Pew Research Center, told Yahoo Finance. “This is down from the height of pandemic lockdowns, but still sharply higher than the 7% who did so in the pre-pandemic days.”
‘I’m more productive at home’
This includes Beth Ferrantino, a content program manager for Raytheon Technologies, who lives in Mont Vernon, NH and works completely remotely from her home. This arrangement enables them to be available for their children in the mornings and afternoons, which resonates with many remote workers.
Seven out of 10 people who work from home at least some of the time say the biggest benefit is how the arrangement helps them balance their work and personal lives, according to a Pew survey. Fifty-six percent say it helps them get their work done and meet deadlines.
“It gives me flexibility,” Ferrantino told Yahoo Finance. “I find I’m more productive at home than in an office with a quiet workspace and few distractions.”
Pew Research Center
And despite concerns among employers about connectedness, Ferrentino fostered his professional relationships with coworkers through Teams messaging and Zoom meetings.
“We try to get together in person every quarter which also helps create in-person attendance,” she said.
This echoes Pew’s findings, which show that remote workers are extremely or very satisfied with their relationships with coworkers at the same rate as those with hybrid or traditional in-office schedules. Still, 53% of people who work from home at least some of the time say the arrangement affects their ability to feel connected with co-workers.
“Working from an office may be more punctuated with conversation, but I’ve always appreciated the reminder that we’re not meant to work in isolation for nine straight hours every day,” Reya said. “Connecting with colleagues and managers in those unplanned moments can also be of benefit to our work, as many of those ‘side conversations’ have yielded valuable information about our shared work. Even though it may seem unnatural on Zoom, I also try to make room for those moments when I’m working remotely.
Carey is a senior reporter and columnist at Yahoo Finance. follow him on twitter @kerryhannon,
Click here for the latest personal finance news to help you with investing, paying off debt, buying a home, retirement, and more
Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance