Lots of firms still don't really seem to be fully backing hybrid working

Woman wearing headphones using a laptop.
(Image credit: Shutterstock: fizkes)

New research from VMWare suggests that many employers aren’t all that keen on hybrid working, despite numerous studies suggesting that WFH could have a positive effect on productivity.

The company's report, "The Distributed Work Dilemma: When Innovation and Job Satisfaction Compete", surveyed 5,300 HR and IT decision makers and employee-level respondents from countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the participants thought their company was “more innovative” when employees were working in the office, compared with from home, while four in five (81%) of the respondents acclaimed higher job satisfaction when they were able to adopt a hybrid working routine.

WFH vs office

The majority of hybrid workers also testify to increased morale (56%), creativity (52%), and collaboration (53%) compared with pre-pandemic levels.

VMWare reckons that growing economic uncertainty could be driving employers to call for a return to the office on a large scale in the hope that they could see a boost in productivity, despite low-productivity having no proven link to hybrid or remote working practices.

Some employers still don't trust their employees to work from anywhere, with 97% of the participant companies admitting to "monitoring innovation", and 82% of the companies mandating an office-only policy.

VMWare SVP and General Manager for End-User Computing, Shankar Iyer, explains: “Research has shown that allowing hybrid work creates happier, more engaged, and more collaborative teams, which can naturally lead to increased productivity.” 

Iyer continues: “Our research suggests that more companies need to deploy formal metrics to measure impact to ensure perception does not [outweigh] reality. Those with hybrid working policies are clearly taking this very seriously.”

Moving forward, the study found that 72% of EMEA organizations plan to invest “significantly” in their digital culture, and a number of companies are either utilizing or considering a degree of automation to take pressure of employees, thus boosting productivity all-round.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!