79% employees felt working remotely had improved their work-life balance: Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022

79% employees felt working remotely had improved their work-life balance: Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022

Going back to “the old way” of doing things is no longer an option as we move forward in the hybrid work era, especially after two years of positive outcomes for employees and employers alike.

In fact, 62% of employees agree that their ability to work from anywhere impacts whether they stay at or leave a job.

However, with only 1 in 4 employees saying their company is ‘very prepared’ for the future of hybrid work, more needs to be done to embed hybrid work arrangements and reimagine the employee experience.

Why hybrid work works for employees

While employees were initially challenged by the sudden shift to hybrid and remote working arrangements, our research found that this mode of working has yielded many benefits over the last two years for organizations and their people.

More than three quarters of respondents (78%) believe hybrid and remote working has improved all aspects of well-being, empowering employees to take care of their full selves in both their roles at work, and beyond their jobs.

The five areas of well-being

  • Financial: 76% have saved money through hybrid work in the past year
  • Physical: 68% believe hybrid working has had a positive impact on their physical fitness
  • Social: 74% say that hybrid working has improved family relationships
  • Emotional: 82% said the ability to work hybrid has made them happier and more motivated in their role
  • Mental: 55% report that hybrid working has decreased their stress levels

There were also notable differences across the five categories of well-being researched: emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social well-being.

While over two-thirds (68.3%) say their mental well-being has improved, social well-being is the least improved, with 42.8% believing their social well-being has improved, and a further 32.9% saying it has not changed.

When looking more deeply into the different areas of well-being studied, some interesting insights can be gained for employers.

Supporting the workforce of the future

Operating and supporting a hybrid workforce starts with investing in the technologies and tools needed to support work from anywhere.

In fact, technology support was rated as a top priority for working from home successfully by 77% of employees.
  • 53% said increased use of technology was a critical factor.
  • 50% said greater use of virtual meeting and collaboration tools.

Establishing a positive culture, employee engagement, and people processes should go hand-in-hand for leadership teams to truly empower the hybrid workforce of the future and lead by example for their teams.

  • 73% employees say their company needs to rethink their culture.
  • 66% said a flexible work schedule was the most important.
“Technology is core to driving inclusivity and connectedness with employees regardless of if they’re remote or in-person. Cisco’s mission is to help 'level the playing field' and enable a more inclusive future where everyone can participate, regardless of geography, language preference, personality type, or familiarity with technology. ”

said Jeetu Patel, EVP and General Manager, Security & Collaboration.

Work-life Balance

  • 79% felt that working away from the office had improved their work-life balance
  • 76% feel their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office
  • 64% saved at least four hours per week when they worked from home and over a quarter (26%) of respondents saved eight or more hours a week
  • 44% reinvested these time savings into time with family, friends, and pets

Performance

  • 83% say they have been able to learn, grow and succeed in their roles over the last past two years
  • 61% believe their quality of work has improved over the past two years
  • 60% believe productivity has risen
  • 59% saw greater levels of self-improvement in job knowledge and skills

Culture

  • 73% said the ability work hybrid has made them happier and more motivated in their role
  • 70% believe their manager trusts them to be productive when working hybrid
  • 57% believe that hybrid working has improved their company’s culture
  • 44% of our respondents say that working remotely has improved relationships with colleagues

Are employers ready for hybrid work?

Today, just one in four employees feel their organization is ‘very prepared’ for a hybrid working future.

As companies implement the new normal for hybrid working arrangements, there are huge opportunities to evolve and make the right investments to support an effective workforce.

Investment in technology was the area where employees felt their companies were most prepared for hybrid work. However, there are still technology implications to ensure a seamless experience for the present and future workforce.

Connectivity

As any hybrid worker can attest to, connectivity can be a significant issue when working away from office.

  • 62% say suffering connectivity issues on a regular basis is career limiting for remote workers
  • 42% of respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly creates a negative perception for remote workers

Networking Infrastructure

As a result, technology will remain critical to enabling a future with increasingly diverse and distributed workforces.

  • 84% say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience
  • 68% say their company currently has the right networking infrastructure now

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is also important in a hybrid world as the threat landscape expands beyond the in-office technology experience.

  • 78% say that cybersecurity is critical for making hybrid working safe
  • 65% saying their organization currently has the right capabilities and protocols in place

“It is clear that hybrid working is here to stay, and for good reason as employees and businesses alike see tangible benefits across key indicators - from improved overall employee wellbeing to better productivity and work performance.

Nonetheless, more needs to be done to fully leverage the opportunities of a hybrid work future, particularly in building an inclusive culture, devising employee engagement strategies, and deploying technology infrastructure to bring organizations to the readiness levels of their employees.”

said Anupam Trehan, Director, People and Communities, Cisco India & SAARC.

While employees felt their companies were more prepared from a technology perspective, employee support and HR policies and processes were the areas of least preparedness for hybrid work. This suggests organizations and leadership teams are still determining if and how to commit to a hybrid work culture or may lack the resources to do so. Workplace culture is a critical component for hybrid work to work for employers and their businesses.

As return to office conversations intensify, employees indicate an inclusive culture is at the center of hybrid employee engagement. Yet,

41% believe that remote and in-office workers will not have equal opportunity and be equally engaged with their teams and the company.

Another area of importance to employees for businesses to consider is career progression.

A sizeable minority (43%) believe they are less likely to be promoted as quickly when working remotely, and 57% say those in the office will see more career growth than remote workers.

This needs to be addressed to ensure a level playing field for all employees irrespective of where they find themselves working.

News Source: CISCO

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