What’s the Status of the Hybrid Work Environment in 2024?

hybrid working meaning

The ideal working arrangement for office employees has been a hotly debated topic since the pandemic started to wane in 2022 and gathering together in public spaces became possible once again.

Since then, some employers demanded that employees return to office full time, while other companies embraced hybrid work environments and invested in technology to make remote work more seamless.

In 2023 alone, companies offering hybrid work environments increased from 51% to 62%. But the question remains: what will happen with hybrid work trends throughout the reminder of 2024 and beyond?

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can make some predictions about what we think will happen based on recent trends.

More Companies will Mandate Return to Work 

hybrid working meaning

The five-day, in-office work week may be a thing of the past, but more companies are mandating that employees show their face in the office at least one day a week, if not more.

An “enough is enough” attitude is trending among CEOs like Elon Musk, Bob Iger, and Bill Gates, and others who think it’s time for everyone to get back into the office. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Reduction in layoffs. Companies who are preparing to reduce their workforce may mandate that employees return to work, anticipating that some employees may make the choice to quit before they are fired.

Close to 70% of employees said they’d rather look for a new job than return to the office. With more employees choosing to leave, the corporation can lay off fewer people and save on expensive separation packages that are common in most layoff scenarios.

  1. Increased collaboration. Despite advances in technology making remote collaboration easier than ever, most CEOs believe the best collaboration happens in person. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said, “Teams tend to be better connected to one another when they see each other in person more frequently.” 

Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together.”

You may agree or disagree, but the most powerful CEOs believe nothing competes with in-person interaction to foster innovation, creativity, and problem solving.

  1. Lack of confidence in their workers. Despite the fact that 87% of employees report being more productive when working from home, 85% of employers aren’t confident that their employees are working.

Managers and leaders long for the visual cues that work is getting done, which means people at desks, in conference rooms, and buzzing around the water cooler.

Employees Will Stand Their Ground Despite Mandates

hybrid working meaning

Employers may be demanding more employees return to work, but employees will continue to resist that mandate throughout 2024. According to a recent survey, 51% of professionals prefer a fully-remote job, and 46% prefer a hybrid work situation.

It’s not hard to recognize why working from home is so appealing to employees. Approximately 56% of employees report having a fully remote or hybrid job results in improvements to their mental health.

Employees enjoy the reduced commute time, saying it saves them an average of an hour each day. Plus, they’re saving significantly on gas and tolls.

In addition, workers love getting their kids on the bus in the morning and being there when the school bus drops them off. Plus, pet owners enjoy spending more quality time with their furry friends.

Employees report that having a hybrid schedule or fully remote job is more important to them than salary, opportunities for advancement, health insurance, and retirement benefits. In fact, 63% of employees rank the ability to work remotely as the most important aspect of a job.

The majority of workers feel so strongly about working from home that they are willing to resign if ordered to return to the office. About 56% of workers know at least one person who quit their job as a result of return-to-office mandates. If this trend continues, companies who mandate return-to-work policies may experience labor shortages. 

Small Businesses Are Ready to Change

hybrid working meaning

While some of the behemoth companies like Amazon, Disney, and Microsoft will continue to mandate a return to the office, newer, smaller companies are fully embracing the hybrid work model. They understand that it’s a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

Smaller, more forward-thinking companies may benefit from attracting those workers who are leaving bigger companies in protest over return-to-office requirements.

Expect More Companies to Adapt 

Larger companies who are mandating return to work are grabbing headlines, but the writing is on the wall. Hybrid work structures are here to stay and the sooner companies realize that the better it will be for them and their employees.

According to the Scoop 2024 Flex Report, more than two-thirds of US companies will adopt flexible and remote work options by the end of the year. These organizations will be keeping a sharp on the productivity and performance of their employees, as they should.

By the end of 2024, executives who’ve issued return-to-work mandates may begin to realize they’ve made a huge mistake. Their peers who offer hybrid work environments will be poised to dramatically outperform them.

As pressure builds, those companies who were once so resistant to implementing hybrid work policies, will likely embrace remote work in 2025 and 2026.

Are You Ready to Find a Hybrid Job?

hybrid working meaning

If you’re ready to find a job that offers a hybrid work schedule, then contact Empire Resume. We’ll make sure you have the perfect resume and cover letter to grab the attention of employers and decision makers.

Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

Related Articles: