Hybrid working means working partly in the employer’s office and partly in the home office. This trend has been around for some time now, since most data is stored in a cloud and the office worker only needs one computer for access. He or she does not need to carry files or electronic data carriers with him or her to change workplaces. The corona pandemic is now likely to reinforce this work organization. Various studies are looking at the prospects.

Hybrid working world in the Robert Half Report

The labor market report of the personnel service provider Robert Half was published for the first time for the year 2021. Primarily, it shows recruiting trends and the expectations of companies and employees. However, it also looks at hybrid working. Its popularity has increased during the pandemic, both among employees and employers, 86% of whom now see hybrid working as a permanent model for the future. Employees certainly feel relieved in the home office, and employers remain agile through hybrid models. At the same time, this form of work forces companies to strictly expand digitization. Most of them find this compulsion quite productive. Among other things, the technical skills of their employees are growing. A second effect is purely economic: If hybrid working is fully possible, companies can ensure their business continuity and thus productivity even in a crisis – Corona will certainly not have been the last.

More job postings for the hybrid work world

The Robert Half Report shows that the number of job postings with an explicit home office option increased by 54% in 2020. The research in question was conducted by labor market analyst Burning Glass on behalf of Robert Half, and was included in the report. Some numbers from it:

  • There were 54,309 more jobs advertised with a home office option compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Hybrid job openings for assistant and office professionals grew by 72%.
  • In accounting, 28% more hybrid jobs were posted.
  • In IT, the number of related job openings grew by 6%.

Individual areas for which hybrid working is particularly suited include systems analysis and security, communications, payroll, credit management, sales and procurement, DevOps management, back-end and front-end development, asset management, project management and cloud engineering, according to the Robert Half study. Robert Half’s senior managing director for Europe Sven Hennige saw reason for optimism when the report was released in February 2021, saying that companies may well grow as much as they did before the pandemic after a restructuring phase toward hybrid work models. Hennige cited global shifts toward hybrid work, the growing importance of e-commerce models, data-driven planning and operations processes, and efforts to build more agile workforces as reasons. In that sense, the pandemic is an opportunity, he said. It accelerates important trends in the world of work that would have taken hold even without the Corona crisis, just nowhere near as quickly. Burning Glass CEO Matt Sigelman described the rise of hybrid jobs as a prime example of the paradigm shift brought about by the pandemic.

Capgemini study: demands on managers in hybrid work models

The home office and hybrid working require new leadership skills. That’s what a study by Munich-based management and IT consulting services provider Captgemini suggests. The experts see an increased need for the implementation of remote working, which they now also call hybrid working. According to their research, this demonstrably increases productivity, with 63% of all companies benefiting significantly. The study’s authors cite the following reasons

  • better collaboration with digital tools
  • Eliminated travel time and expense costs
  • More flexible working hours
  • Reduction in the size of offices including surrounding infrastructure (parking spaces, canteen, etc.) through workplace sharing

Capgemini cites similar areas to Robert Half in which hybrid models perform particularly well. The experts presented the following figures:

  • By 2024, the companies they surveyed expect an average productivity increase of 17%.
  • In the last quarter of 2020, 88% of them were able to reduce their real estate costs through hybrid working models.
  • 92% are convinced of further savings in fixed costs.
  • 70% of the companies believe that the productivity gains will be sustainable.

As a prerequisite for a successful continuation of the trend, the authors cite new management structures and models that address the special features of a home office workplace. For example, virtual meetings may need to be scheduled differently from face-to-face meetings and may need to be restructured in terms of time. Communication with colleagues in the home office would have to be reorganized. There would have to be fixed rules about which messaging channels are used and the frequency of communication. For example, the question arises as to how promptly e-mails or messenger messages should be answered, what role the telephone plays, and whether all colleagues must keep an open chat on the desktop for brief questions at all times. This would have to be clarified by the management level, according to Capgemini’s experts.

Global expectations for the hybrid working world

Meta-studies show that 30% of all companies globally expect hybrid work to reach 70% by 2024. 48% believe their office space requirements will decrease by at least 10%. The trend towards hybrid working appears to be irreversible.

Image: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/laptop-schreibtisch-arbeitsbereich-336373/


I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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