A ‘work anywhere’ workplace is what employees actually want today: Study

Study finds 83% of people say a hybrid work model is optimal ─ where individuals have the ability to work remotely between 25% and 75% of the time

A ‘work anywhere’ workplace is what employees actually want today: Study - CIO&Leader

As organizations around the world make plans for their people to return to the workplace, an Accenture study finds that 83% of people say a hybrid work model is optimal ─ where individuals have the ability to work remotely between 25% and 75% of the time.
 
The research report encompassing 9,326 workers in 11 countries titled, “The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere,” found that 40% of individuals feel they can be productive and healthy anywhere — either fully remote or onsite or a combination of the two — as the hybrid workplace emerges.
 
Further, 85% of people who say they can be productive and healthy anywhere also say they plan to stay with their company for a long time. However, finding a hybrid model that works for all generations may be a challenge: three in four Gen Zers (74%) want more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues face-to-face, a higher percentage than Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (68%).

“There’s a pattern emerging in the post-pandemic workforce — the ‘productive, anywhere’ worker,” said Christie Smith, senior managing director and global lead of Talent & Organization / Human Potential. “This new workforce segment consists of individuals who remain productive — whether on-site or at home — and who have the strongest personal and organizational resources. As responsible leaders, we need to pivot the future of work dialogue to be not just about location, but to also address what drives the productivity, health and resilience of our people.”
 
The report uncovered that what separates those workers who are productive anywhere (40%) from those who are disconnected and frustrated (8%), is not stress, but whether they have the right resources on an individual and organizational level to help them be productive anywhere. These resources range from job autonomy and positive mental health to supportive leadership and a digitally mature organization.
 
Further, organizations that enable a resilient workforce to be more productive and healthier anywhere are also reaping financial benefits: 63% of high revenue growth companies have already enabled productivity anywhere workforce models, where employees have the option of working remotely or on-site. While the vast majority (69%) of negative or no-growth companies are still focused on where people are going to physically work, favoring all on-site or remote rather than enabling hybrid.
 
“People who have the option to work in a hybrid model are better able to manage mental health challenges, have stronger work relationships and plan to stay with their companies a long time,” added Yaarit Silverstone, Accenture Strategy, senior managing director and North America lead for Talent & Organization / Human Potential. “Many conversations on the future of work revolve around location, but leaders need to instead ask how to unlock people’s potential anywhere.”
 
As responsible leaders consider the various options available to their workforces, they must move beyond a focus on physical location to shape a future of work that provides their people with the resources they need to be productive anywhere. Accenture recommends that organizations consider these specific actions:

  • Accelerate Modern HR – The world around us has changed, and HR policies and practices must evolve. Develop a strategy that ensures workers are Net Better Off — across six workplace dimensions including relational, physical, emotional and mental — as they transition to new workspaces, teams and roles.
  • Design work around people – Organizations must acknowledge and respond to the needs of all types of workers. Organizations that support psychological and physical safety will foster trust. 
  • Build digital fluency – Digitally fluent organizations have higher revenue growth and are more likely to be considered great places to work. Focus on designing tailored skilling and learning paths that serve the needs of all workforce segments.
  • Lead with humanity – Responsible leaders create environments in which the Modern Board, CEO and entire C-suite work together — no matter where they are.

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