In recent years businesses have been forced to adapt and rethink their traditional ways of working. The IT industry in particular has seen a significant shift toward hybrid forms of work. What was once considered a rare perk has now become the new normal in many companies around the world.
It's not hard to see why this model is growing in popularity – it offers greater flexibility, productivity and cost savings. However, as with any change in strategy or infrastructure, it can be daunting for those about to adopt hybrid working and challenging for those who already have.
We decided to explore how technology companies can overcome these hurdles while prioritizing employee well-being and sustainability in the workplace. You can find some of the results we came across in this article, but for a full overview, check out the new report on the state of hybrid work in the IT industry.
- The shift to hybrid work models in the IT industry has presented a number of challenges related to the strategy and tech infrastructure. Nevertheless, 90% of employers plan to offer hybrid work options in the near future if they don’t already.
- There is no universal template for a hybrid work model, but research has found some patterns; for example, most companies opt for a full hybrid work model and the most popular day to go into the office is... Wednesday!
- Many IT organizations associate hybrid working with greater flexibility, productivity and lower costs, and it shows: the IT industry leads among industries with the most remote work options. However, the office remains important for employee collaboration.
- As hybrid work arrangements become the norm in the industry, tech organizations’ HR and technology spending is on the rise, and the next natural step is sustainability. This is another area where technology can help!
Hybrid Work in IT Requires Addressing Strategy and Tech Infrastructure Hurdles
The shift to hybrid work in the IT industry has brought with it a number of challenges that need to be addressed. One of the biggest hurdles is developing a strategy that allows employees to work productively, whether they're in the office or working remotely.
This requires careful consideration of factors such as communication channels, task delegation, and management frameworks. Companies may also need to invest in new technology solutions that facilitate remote collaboration and project management.
Nevertheless, research shows that 90% of employers plan to offer some kind of hybrid work model in the coming future, if they don't already. This is very positive news for those who have experienced the benefits of hybrid working firsthand and are keen to continue working flexibly.
At the same time, 72% of companies admit they do not have a clear strategy for hybrid working, and 71% do not have an employee policy that supports hybrid working. More companies must make an effort to implement clear standards and procedures for hybrid working in order to minimize employee guesswork.
Another major challenge is to ensure that the tech infrastructure can effectively support hybrid work policies. This includes optimizing networks for remote access, securing data against cyber threats, and providing adequate hardware resources for employees working from home.
To address these challenges successfully, companies should adopt an agile approach towards their tech infrastructure and employee workflows. This means implementing new tools or processes and regularly reevaluating them based on feedback from employees.
Unfortunately, 61% of organizations admit that they currently lack a hybrid work-friendly technology infrastructure. However, addressing these strategy and tech infrastructure hurdles is critical to enabling productive hybrid work arrangements in the IT industry.
Popular Hybrid Work Model Templates
Driven by the pandemic and changing workforce expectations, companies are realizing that offering flexible work schedules is no longer just a perk, but rather an essential element of their talent strategy. This shift is not only a response to current conditions, but also reflects employers' growing awareness of employee engagement and retention.
Companies that fail to recognize this reality risk losing their competitive edge when it comes to attracting candidates – or they may find themselves struggling against those competitors who have already embraced this paradigm shift head-on.
And yet, there is currently no universal template for a hybrid work model. Tech companies around the world chart their own course based on the individual needs of their employees, corporate goals, and other internal policies, and so far research has shown that:
- 5% of respondents are not using a remote or hybrid work model. All employees continue to work in-office on a full-time basis.
- 21% prefer a partial hybrid model, meaning that eligible employees can work remotely some of the time.
- 30% chose a balanced hybrid model where all employees can work remotely some of the time.
- 39% have gone for a full hybrid model in which eligible employees can work remotely on a full-time basis.
- 5% have taken the leap and work completely remotely, i.e. all employees work remotely on a full-time basis.
But while more companies embrace this approach, it’s important for organizations to develop new strategies around communications, collaboration tools, cybersecurity protocols and other aspects of digital infrastructure necessary for successful hybrid working models.
The key challenge will be finding ways to balance flexibility with productivity while ensuring that all team members remain connected ,regardless of physical location.
Hybrid Work Model Becoming Popular Is a Sign of High-Growth Tech Businesses
The rise of the hybrid work model not only reflects changing employee preferences, but is also an indicator of high-growth tech companies. Companies adopting hybrid work models recognize the benefits offered by this flexible workplace arrangement and adapt to it with ease.
They know that hybrid work models allow companies to attract top talent from remote locations, increase productivity, and save on the costs associated with maintaining large office spaces. By leveraging advanced distributed team technologies, they demonstrate business agility and remain competitive in today's fast-paced digital environment.
Moreover, these forward-thinking companies recognize that hybrid work models are more than just a temporary fix to address pandemic-related challenges. They see it as an opportunity for long-term growth by enabling their workforce to perform at their best, regardless of location.
As a result, 68% of high-growth companies have adopted "productivity anywhere" models (up from 63% in 2021), and the number continues to rise.
More Tech Companies Allow Employees to Set Their Hybrid Working Schedules
More and more tech companies are allowing their employees to set their own hybrid working schedules. This means that employees can decide for themselves when they want to work in the office and when they want to work remotely.
This is a great benefit for employees who have personal commitments or prefer a certain working style. It also helps improve overall morale and increase productivity. This kind of scheduling flexibility requires trust between employer and employee, but it also shows that the company values the needs of its workforce.
We found that 68% of employees have a choice of which days they work in the office/offsite, 19% feel they can negotiate with their employer, and 12% don’t have a choice. We also wanted to know what the most popular days to go to the office are, and found the following:
- 17.4% indicated Monday
- for 23.1% it's Tuesday
- the most popular day to go to the office is Wednesday (23.8%)
- the least popular day is Thursday (12.6%)
- 22.5% finally indicated Friday. Could it be because of casual Fridays...?
Hybrid Work Associated With Increased Flexibility, Productivity, and Reduced Costs
The shift toward hybrid work has been a game-changer for the IT industry, with many organizations now associating it with increased flexibility, productivity and reduced costs. This is largely due to the fact that employees can choose their own working environments based on their individual preferences and needs.
In a hybrid workplace, employees have greater freedom in how they manage their time. They can structure their workday according to their personal commitments or other responsibilities outside of work. As long as they meet deadlines and deliver results, they're more trusted to manage their schedules.
This level of control leads to higher job satisfaction among employees, which in turn translates into higher productivity for the company as a whole. When individuals feel they have control over how they approach their tasks, they tend to put in more effort.
Studies reveal that the following are the top benefits organizations have achieved by moving to a hybrid work model:
- Flexible hours 59%
- Reduced facilities costs 52%
- Increased productivity among employees 47%
- Increased engagement among employees 42%
- Expanded hiring pool 41%
- None of the above/other 7%.
Industries With the Most Remote Opportunities
It's no surprise that some industries have more remote opportunities than others, but we're all curious to learn which industries are doing well and which still need to catch up.
Recent findings show that the IT industry is leading among industries with the most remote job opportunities (15.4%) alongside Management & Consulting (19.4%), Media & Communication (15.9%) and Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology (14%).
Technology companies are known for being at the forefront of innovation and change, and they have embraced hybrid work policies with open arms.
It helps that their reliance on technology makes them well-suited for remote work, that most IT employees have all the equipment they need to do their work from home, and that tech companies usually prioritize results over hours worked. This means that as long as you're getting your job done well and on time, it doesn't matter where or when you do it.
With its emphasis on innovation and adaptability, there's no doubt that this sector will continue to lead the way to a hybrid future of work.
The Office Is Here to Stay
Collaboration has always been a vital aspect of work, and it is unlikely that this will change anytime soon. While remote work has become more common in recent years, the office still remains an important place for collaboration among employees.
In-person interaction allows for better communication and the ability to bounce ideas off each other quickly. This can lead to increased innovation and productivity within teams. Additionally, working in close proximity with colleagues also fosters a sense of community and camaraderie that is difficult to replicate remotely.
While technology has made it easier than ever to collaborate, it cannot replace the benefits of face-to-face interaction entirely. In fact, many companies are now exploring hybrid models that allow employees to split their time between working from home and coming into the office for collaborative work.
The office is likely to remain a key element of the modern workplace thanks to its role as a hub for collaboration and teamwork. According to research, onsite work will increase from 21% in 2021 to 44% in 2024, and offsite work will decrease from 76% in 2021 to 56% in 2024.
HR and Hybrid Workplace Technology
As hybrid work is becoming the norm in the industry, organizations are investing heavily in HR and hybrid workplace technology. Tech organizations' HR and technology spending was up by 57% in 2021 compared with 2020 and is above the totals from recent pre-pandemic years as well.
Companies know it is crucial to have strong HR tech to manage employee engagement and well-being – the HR Management Software Market is forecast to reach $31.4 billion by 2025 – as well as hybrid workplace (video conferencing systems, collaboration tools, cloud-based storage solutions, and VPNs).
This ensures that employees have access to all the resources they need, whether they are working in the office or remotely. And with many employees working remotely on a daily basis, 63% of tech companies report making changes to conference room technology to support hybrid meetings.
However, these investments also come with challenges, such as maintaining security protocols and ensuring employees are properly trained on the new technologies. Therefore, it's critical for organizations to prioritize employee training programs on cybersecurity measures when using these tools.
Workplace Sustainability: The Next Natural Step
According to the UN, the tech sector currently accounts for 2 to 3% of global emissions, but as more and more people go online, that number could grow rapidly if left unchecked. In fact, studies predict that the sector will be responsible for 14% of global carbon emissions by 2040 if trends continue.
This means that tech companies that want to succeed and make a difference in tomorrow's world must integrate sustainability into their operations. This will not only benefit the environment, but will also help save costs in the long run.
By investing in green technologies and adopting sustainable practices, such as reducing paper use, optimizing energy consumption, and promoting environmentally friendly transportation, companies can create more responsible and efficient workplaces.
Even though hybrid work has become commonplace in the industry, the transition still requires careful planning and flexible policies that benefit both employees and employers. IT organizations need to address strategy and infrastructure hurdles that come with this model to continue to be successful.
To learn more about how hybrid work policies have gone from being a rare perk to the new normal of the tech industry, and how we can help, download the report on The State of Hybrid Work: IT Industry.