By Dora Mekouar
Hybrid schedules could be the next monumental shift in the American workplace after last year’s sudden move to remote work. More than 70% of workers want to hold onto flexible remote work options, according to a Microsoft study, but almost as many — about 65% — still want more in-person time with their coworkers.
A hybrid schedule — where people are in the office some of the time while working at home for the rest — could meet both of those needs. Companies increasingly seem to be getting on board with hybrid scheduling now that the pandemic has demonstrated that working from home can be productive. The study found that remote job postings on the professional networking site LinkedIn increased drastically — more than five times — during the pandemic.
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“If some companies are offering (remote work), then it’s going to force the hand of other companies,” says Cathleen Swody, an organizational psychologist at Thrive Leadership. “So, if they want talent, they’re going to have to have a little bit more flexibility. And along with all the flexibility, it’s the processes — who’s doing what? Who really needs to be in the office? Who needs that collaboration? Who doesn’t? And rethinking how the work is done.”
General Motors recently announced that its 155,000 employees worldwide would be able to choose between working from home or being in the office, depending on what project they’re working on. JPMorgan Chase has hybrid plans that could mean the company only needs a room in the office for 60 out of every 100 employees.