Early on, the pandemic turned most full-time, in-office companies into remote workplaces. Companies are still sorting out the new working environment. The most popular choice is a hybrid work model: working one or more days in the office and remotely for the remainder of the week. This allows some time for live collaboration while reducing the burdens of commuting. A hybrid model often also allows for more flexible schedules outside of the typical 9 to 5 workday when working from home.
A study by Slack of more than 9,000 workers across six countries found that 72% prefer a hybrid work model, with half of their work time spent in an office and half spent working from home.
A successful hybrid work model considers the business requirements for each role, team and division. In addition, they must reflect the overall culture of the company. The common denominator is giving employees flexibility in how they complete their work and where they do it.
While some employees found remote work difficult, others decided they preferred a remote role going forward. Some felt so strongly about this that they chose to resign rather than return to office work—even part-time. Remote work will not disappear, and even companies that are unenthusiastic about hybrid or remote work have been forced to be more flexible with work arrangements.
What does a hybrid work model mean for the mobility industry?
Hybrid work, the favored model, requires weekly time in the office. This eliminates the early pandemic “work from anywhere” flexibility that many employees enjoyed, as they will need to live within reasonable commuting distance to the office. It also underlines the continued relevance of employee relocation.
From an international perspective, the hybrid work model supports the growing flexpatriate population because the global assignments are shorter and typically based on-site. The employee returns home and resumes the home country work model when the international assignment is complete.
Companies that allow or tolerate “work from anywhere” and fail to keep track of global employees’ whereabouts can face a world of non-compliance issues. Fines and future denied entry can pose severe problems for an international business. Maintaining an ongoing travel tracking system and informing employees of the risks can help avert global employment, residency, tax and compliance issues. In addition, more countries are offering remote work visas, which can satisfy the employee’s wanderlust and desire for an international experience while mitigating risks for employers.