The Future May Be Hybrid

As organizations evaluate a return to the physical office versus the viability of ongoing remote work, many may be considering the possibility of a hybrid approach.

A new global report from office furniture manufacturer Steelcase found that 87% of business leaders plan to allow more flexibility around how, when and where people work, up 38% from a similar survey taken in April of 2020. But only 5% of respondents expect to work from home full time, while 72% will instead take a hybrid approach – working from both home and office to provide the flexibility their employees are seeking. As a result, 86% of businesses are planning to adjust their long-term real estate strategy.

Based on the data, Steelcase noted five overarching needs that will drive new ways of planning and designing offices, which reflect the need of employees to:

  • Be and feel safe
  • Feel a deep sense of belonging
  • Be productive
  • Be physically, cognitively and emotionally comfortable
  • Have control over where and how they work

“Leaders want people to be together, but their old office won’t work for the new reality,” says Gale Moutrey, vice president of workplace innovation at Steelcase. “Now is the time for companies to seize the opportunity to reinvent the work experience and the workplace. This report shows employees don’t want to return to the office they had before; they want to return to something better.”