07/09/2024 • 3 min read

Hybrid Work Insights from Our Global Customers

Learn about key findings from our survey data

by Aaron Haworth

In the quickly evolving work landscape, hybrid work has become widely adopted across different industries and regions worldwide. The idea of the hybrid office has emerged as a symbol of adaptability and efficiency. Still, these rapid changes leave many wondering what it all means for the future of work.

Haworth’s most recent global survey report dives deep into all the essential questions surrounding hybrid work and office spaces. Our survey has uncovered 6 key findings that help us understand the complexity of hybrid work and its impact on workspaces.

 1. Hybrid Will Persist and Evolve

Hybrid work isn't just a buzzword—its widespread global adoption is fundamentally changing where and when work happens. Our survey data indicates that hybrid work has established itself as a norm across industries and localities, and its evolution has been seen in the varying approaches of different organizations over time. Still, the results of our survey show some significant new trends happening in hybrid work.

2. Regional Differences Matter

While hybrid work has shown up around the world, actual policies and outcomes take on the unique flavor of the region. Perhaps reflecting the region’s cultural tendency toward hierarchical structures and collective responsibility, in Asia, we found that leadership’s vision was a more prevalent instigator for organizations pursuing hybrid policies compared to Europe and North America.

Conversely, US organizations have been slower to adopt progressive hybrid and flexible work arrangements. Across the board, an organization's cultural background significantly influences how hybrid work functions.

3. Driven by Human Performance

Our survey evidence widely suggests human performance is the main reason organizations establish hybrid work, rather than financial concerns. In every region surveyed, improving the employee experience and other human-performance-related outcomes were the combined underlying purpose of hybrid work. The emphasis on human-centricity is tangible in how organizations measure the success of their hybrid policies: metrics like engagement, productivity, and retention take precedence over traditional cost savings measurements.

4. Acoustics Are a Pain

The level of noise driven by hybrid meetings in the office leaves much to be desired. While evaluating the effectiveness of their adaptations to hybrid work, companies have discovered that most changes they’ve made have successfully improved the hybrid experience. Yet, one concern echoed much greater than the rest: acoustics. Companies are taking a wide variety of approaches to tackling the ongoing issue of acoustical privacy, including through furniture application and spatial design options.

5. Embracing Unassigned Workspaces

No data point stood out more than the seismic shift in office spaces allocation from pre-2020. The global ratio of assigned to unassigned space has experienced a dramatic transformation. Moreover, the amount of change was nearly uniform across all regions. These findings signal a strategic focus on flexibility and adaptability in the workplace.

6. Changing Space Changes Attitudes

In a major revelation, organizations that have revamped their office spaces since 2020 have reported significantly higher satisfaction levels with hybrid work compared to those that have not. More than 83% of organizations that have optimized their workspaces are happy with hybrid work. This highlights the impact of spatial changes on hybrid satisfaction and inspires critical thought into how transformative space shifts impact organizational dynamics.

Haworth’s survey results highlight the links between workspace design and human performance, giving us better insight to the state of hybrid work through policy and its impact on space design. Despite challenges like acoustics and office space allocation, optimizing the workplace and its spaces can elevate satisfaction levels and foster innovation.

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