Hybrid Work and Global Mobility

Hybrid Work and Global Mobility

Right now, flexibility is key in recruitment and talent retention, leading many companies to move towards a hybrid work schedule to accommodate this shift in the workforce. A recent study anticipates that 39% of knowledge workers will be hybrid by the end of 2023 (Gartner). Another study found that 74% of U.S. companies are using, or plan to use, a hybrid work model to offer their employees flexibility and reduce office space (Zippia). The shift to a hybrid model is expected to lead to changes in the global mobility sector as well.

How Does the Hybrid Model Affect HR?

Of course, there are benefits and complications for hybrid work models. For example, the Zippia report explained that 54% of employees stated that they would leave their current job for one that offers more flexibility, and 59% of applicants were likely to choose an employer that offers a hybrid work schedule over one that does not. The report went on to state that there is an average 12% reduction in turnover when a hybrid schedule is implemented, and companies save an average of $11,000 annually per employee when moving to a hybrid model. According to Forbes, 94% of employers reported that productivity stayed the same or improved with a hybrid work schedule.

Conversely, a hybrid model allows for less visibility for supervisors, resulting in more overall employee autonomy. For organizations that prefer to see people in the office or rely on in-person supervision, this model may not be a good fit. According to the Forbes survey, the companies that thrived during COVID-19 were those that relied on the mutual trust of employees and maintained a high level of engagement.

How Does the Hybrid Model Affect Employee Privacy?

The development of various software systems can aid in the management of remote workers, allowing for different levels of visibility and tracking. This area has grown recently as the demand for surveillance tools has increased by 74% in the last few years (Forbes).

Unfortunately, this also leads to debates on privacy with many remote workers feeling as if these types of programs invade their personal space, leading to feelings of distrust between supervisors and staff. A recent study showed that 56% of workers feel anxiety and stress about their employers surveilling them and 41% constantly feel as if they’re being watched by their employers (ExpressVPN). This has led to 48% of employees stating that they would be willing to take a reduction in salary if it meant that they would not be monitored. The same study shows that while 83% of employers find employee tracking or monitoring ethically concerning, 78% of them continue to use monitoring software, as nearly 60% of employers do not trust their employees to work without digital or in-person supervision. The information gained is primarily used for disciplinarian purposes (46%) and performance reviews (73%).

How Does the Hybrid Model Affect Global Mobility?

Regardless of the employee monitoring debate, a hybrid model is still preferred by 55% of employees (Zippia), and flexible work arrangements can be a powerful tool for talent acquisition and employee retention.

Trends continue to show that workers are returning to the office and only a minority of the full-time workforce will remain permanently remote by 2025. This means the majority of employees will be tied to a specific location, either as a hybrid or full-time office worker. Global Mobility leaders, along with cross-functional teams, are directly involved in the creation and implementation of hybrid policies.

In most cases, hybrid work policies can drive employee mobility decisions, such as whether high-level employees are required to work in an office location. Some companies are sending employees on longer-term assignments or have modified their business travel policies.

While hybrid policies are being put into place, core benefits and compensation policies have largely remained the same. However, many companies are recognizing how global mobility plays an important role in their overall talent management objectives and are considering new mobility programs or modifying existing policies.

In the end, it is clear that there is no singular solution for remote, hybrid, and in-office work policies. As these policies continue to change and evolve, a Relocation Management Company can be utilized to review policies, offer suggestions, and best practices, and help identify options that are the right fit for the company.