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70% of companies will shift to a hybrid work model post-pandemic - Forrester

By Ryan Morris-Reade, 31 May 2021

Research and advisory firm Forrester has released a new report predicting that 70% of US and European companies will shift to a hybrid work model post-pandemic.

“While many business leaders are drawn to vaccine passports as a solution to bring their workforces back to the office full-time, in a hybrid model setup, at least some employees can work anywhere they want for two or more days a week while coming into the office on the remaining workdays,” says Forrester.

According to the research, companies that move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity will gain employee experience and business benefits, with higher retention rates and long-term recruitment advantages. 

The report finds 55% of US employees say they would like to work from home more often, even after the pandemic ends. And it finds that leaders need to consider overall employee feelings about vaccinations when planning their return-to-office strategies. 

Some key points in the research are: 

  • 47% of US workers and 54% of European workers believe vaccines will not completely stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Only 39% of US workers and 34% of European workers feel that their employers have a plan in place to provide vaccination. 
  • Two-thirds of workers in both regions are not comfortable with employers collecting their personal data specific to the pandemic. 

While some C-level executives say they are uncertain of the work from anywhere model, it is now considered imperative for higher-value talent. Forrester says to successfully implement the model, companies must assess specific work from anywhere readiness, and have the components ready and in place.

It says they should also consider changing their office spaces, including rethinking desk usage to support hybrid work. Forrester has a work from anywhere readiness calculator that may help companies start making decisions regarding this new work model, and design an action plan based on their readiness. 

The calculator assesses several company factors, including the percentage of employees who can potentially work remotely, and how technologies stack up in terms of collaboration and security. It can help firms invest in and provide technological, cultural, and leadership resources to support work from any location. 

“The pandemic has taught us that organisations play a bigger role in employee wellness than previously understood,” says Forrester VP and group research director, Keith Johnston. 

“It also reveals how the future of work will be driven by employees having the ability to work anywhere. By shifting conversations to focus on the working environments that best suit employees’ needs moving forward, organisations can ensure that their employees feel they are being heard and that they have the autonomy and tools to do their jobs effectively.” 

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