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Recent survey shows that people want to be in the workplace more than before

Get your notepads out because these return-to-work stats are worth jotting down. In a recent survey we conducted with Wakefield Research, we learned that 71% of employees want a hybrid work model, an arrangement that would enable them to spend some of the workweek on-site and the rest remote. Only 29% said they’d prefer a non-hybrid work model moving forward. 

As more organizations welcome their people back to the workplace, we wanted to know: are employees ready to be back? Keep reading for a breakdown of what we learned. 

Hybrid work has become more popular in the past year

In surveys we conducted in September 2020 and February 2021, 48% of employees said they wanted hybrid work. But after a year of working remotely during the pandemic, employees are finding the workplace and in-person experiences more appealing. 

Word of mouth could also be responsible for driving up demand for hybrid work. As more people hear of companies adopting this working model, it could be leaving them wondering, “Hey, what about us?”

Quick tip: How your people feel about hybrid may have changed over the past year. To learn what model of work they prefer today, you need to collect their real, unfiltered opinions. We show you how to do that in this blog post.

56% of employees want to work on-site most of the week

Most employees (56%) who embrace hybrid work said they want to work on-site most of the week. 44% of employees who prefer hybrid said they’d want to work mostly remotely. As for employees who don’t prefer a hybrid work model (29%), 12% said they want to work remotely full-time. 16% of these folks would prefer to be on-site full-time. 

Quick tip: In a hybrid work environment, where different people are on-site each day, there’s a greater need for workplace schedules. Want help thinking through what schedule to pick for your company? Read this post

Employees see more value in the workplace the longer they’ve been back

62% of employees who’ve been in the workplace for more than three months said they’d prefer to work on-site most of the time. In contrast, 54% of employees who have been back to the workplace between a week and three months said they’d prefer to work remotely most of the time.

Many employees have spent the past year or more working remotely and have settled into their own routines. Getting back into the swing of working on-site is a process. Once they get over the initial hurdle of having a new routine, most employees (62%) actually prefer to work mostly on-site.

Quick tip: Help your employees adjust to the workplace by encouraging them to connect and build relationships with other folks on-site. For pointers, download this ebook, How to build a people-centric workplace experience.

It’s not just tech employees who want hybrid work

Interestingly, employees in industries outside of tech want hybrid work the most. About three-quarters of employees in the business services industry (78%) said they prefer a hybrid work model. Slightly fewer employees in construction, manufacturing, automotive, and utilities (74%) said the same.

Tech employees may desire work setups that are more secure and sophisticated than what they have at home. They could also be attracted to the perks of the workplace that are common at tech companies. This attraction could explain why 68% of folks in tech would prefer going into the workplace most of the week.

Quick tip: No matter your industry, switching to remote work is a process. Mishandling this process can cause big problems for you, your employees, and your company. Check out this post to learn how to apply change management best practices that will ensure your success.

The workplace has become more sought-after—and not just by office workers who want to be there full-time. Your team has an opportunity to make the workplace a space that meets your people’s expectations and keeps them coming back for more. To be successful, you need to understand where employees stand on the future work.

Ready to dive deeper into the survey results? Download the full report, Employees say the workplace is what makes hybrid work.

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Tiffany Fowell
Author Bio Tiffany Fowell