After talking to multiple people I started to feel that there was a significant trend toward people feeling that Hybrid work, spending some time working from home, and sometime in the office, wasn't really playing out to be the perfect post-COVID "new normal" scenario that people were anticipating.
Research has shown that there are significant trust issues between management and employees around productivity, The same research showed a significant miss match between what penalties managers say they would apply if people don't come in on designated office days and what employees felt would happen.
I wanted to collect some data so I cobbled together a survey and shared it around on my social media.
This post is a summary of the responses from the survey. I have added some thoughts throughout the document against the results. However, I have split my main takeaways into a couple of separate posts. You will find them here:
I attempted to make sure that this survey was not biased towards one specific company, as far as I am aware this survey was not shared internally within any company. This was only shared on public social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). However, keep in mind that it will have a bias toward my own personal network.
I only received two responses for people who are working "Fully Onsite" so where working styles are compared these are excluded.
I am (position):
As mentioned, the data is likely to be swayed toward my network. It looks like this is the case as it sways heavily towards leadership, and the senior leadership numbers are probably slightly skewed.
I am currently working:
I would like to be working:
I am not working in the way that I want because:
Here is where things start to get interesting. 23% of people who answered the survey are not working in the way that they would like to. About 50% of them are (or will) be looking to change companies. The rest are happy to compromise or hope their company will change.
Hybrid Specific Questions
The following questions were asked specifically to hybrid workers, I've filtered out results where people said they were working in a different work style.
How often do you go into your workplace in a normal week?
Almost half (49.3%) of people are going into the office 1 day a week or less. Most people (79.4%) are going to the office 2 days a week or less. This feels likely to have a monumental impact on office space utilisations.
How often are your teammates in your workplace at the same time as you?
This is, for me, probably the most interesting data in the survey. 60% of people are rarely, or never, in the office with their own colleagues. We talk about the hybrid model offering us a balance between focused/productive homework, and collaborative in-person creative work. But that appears to be rarely happening. The text responses to this survey suggest people are going into the office for human connections, but it's not with their teammates!
When you’re in the workplace how much of your interactions (meetings, social, incidental) with people in the workplace?
This data seems to back up the above data, only a few people who are going into the office are actually spending a significant amount of time in the office interacting with those in the office. The 'going to the office to log in to zoom' analogy seems to be a reality.
I feel connected with my direct colleagues (teammates, people you work with on a regular basis)
The data seems to show a slight trend towards more connection for fully remote work to their direct team. But generally, there seem to be reasonable connections to immediate colleagues
I feel connected with my company as a whole.
Only 52.8% of people (52.7% Hybrid / 52.9% Fully Remote) feel they would agree to have a connection to their company as a whole. It might be unsurprising to see there is a fervent chunk of remote workers who agree they are connected to their workplace. However, a noticeable group (11.8%) of them don't feel connected at all.
I have fun at work
I am happy at work
I am happy in my personal life
Happily, the challenge of remote and hybrid working doesn't seem to massively be bleeding into people's personal lives.
Is there anything you miss about coming to the office?
What is your company doing to “push” people back to the office (forced office days, minimum team office days, etc)?
What is your company doing to “pull” people back to the office (culture events, office-based perks, etc)?
Are the things your company is doing to get people back into the office working
Overall it seems that most people don't feel that the things that are being done to bring people back into the office are working. When companies are using 'pull' tactics and giving people incentives to come back to the office they are working slightly better than forcing them. But there isn't much in it.
Any other comments?
If you would like to look at the raw results you can find them in this google sheet.
If you want to discuss these results in more detail I've setup a WhatsApp group.