Balancing Act

The New Equation in hybrid working

Hybrid working is here to stay - it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘how’.

The work-from-home arrangements prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic led to many benefits for knowledge workers, such as better work/life balance as well as time and money saved from commuting.

However, working remotely all the time has drawbacks too, leading to burn out and feelings of isolation for some people, as well as challenges in communicating with colleagues.

How do organisations strike the right balance of time in the office and working remotely (whether that’s at home or somewhere else)? It's The New Equation in hybrid working.

In this report, we unpack the findings of a PwC study into more than 1,000 knowledge-based workers to help leaders better understand what workers are looking for in hybrid work arrangements, including guidance for how organisations can make changes that will enhance both productivity and employee wellbeing.

We also share our hybrid working framework - a practical approach that uses the 7 levers for success in the future of work, which organisations can use to bring out the best in their people, organisations and workplaces.

Explore insights from workers into how organisations can implement an effective hybrid working approach.

Hybrid working as part of the EVP

Workers want - and expect - hybrid working from now on. The average number of days that Australian knowledge-based workers want to work from home is 3.2 days, however only 55% believe their organisation genuinely supports hybrid working.

Given Australia’s tight employment market and skills shortages, organisations will have to offer hybrid working as part of their EVP in order to attract and retain the best talent.

Change the office experience

With so many benefits of working remotely, why come into the office?

Organisations need to reconsider ways of working and optimise tasks and processes for the right space. For example, less cubicles and more collaboration spaces are needed for office workers who prefer to do ‘alone’ tasks at home.

Ensure home offices are safe

PwC’s study shows 42% of workers regularly experience loneliness and isolation when working from home, 31% feel more stressed and burnt out, and over one quarter of Australian knowledge workers (28%) have accessed formal mental health and wellbeing support since working remotely.

While hybrid working significantly helps worker wellbeing in some ways, it needs to be underpinned by a broader and diversified means of supporting the health of workers, both mentally and physically as part of Workplace Health & Safety.

Train managers to lead hybrid teams

Less than one third (31%) of team leaders have received any formal training on leading and managing in a hybrid environment since the move to remote working. This underinvestment is resulting in 41% of those with team leader responsibilities feeling confident in their ability to lead teams in the new world of work, while only 36% of them felt that their organisation provided the right tools and support to enable them to effectively lead in the hybrid context.

This has profound implications when it comes to worker performance, productivity, and effectiveness. The lack of investment from many organisations is not just being felt by team leaders but is then trickling down to employees, where almost two in five workers (39%) suggesting they feel like they’re not trusted by their manager to work remotely.

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