Here’s how flexible work arrangements support the remote and hybrid workforce

The remote worker is more likely to have increased productivity, satisfaction and higher engagement, but they still face challenges.

By Isis Simpson-Mersha      
Customer support contact center female employee of Mongolian ethnicity working remotely from home, using a laptop, wearing a headset and resolving a customer’s issue with a smile

As the workforce continues to change, so too does the way employees are employed. More and more, employees are working remotely or in hybrid jobs, which means that they have a mix of face-to-face and remote work and may have an unpredictable schedule.

Eighty-three percent of workers were remote or hybrid in October 2020 and five percent transitioned from remote or hybrid to in-person from 2020 to 2022, according to Integrated Benefits Institute’s Health and Wellbeing for the Remote and Hybrid Workforce report.

One of the best ways to support a flexible and remote workforce is through flexible work arrangements. These arrangements allow employers to meet the needs of their employees while also optimizing productivity, retention and overall business performance.

By providing flexible work arrangements to their employees, businesses can attract and retain top talent. In addition, flexible work arrangements have been shown to improve employee engagement and productivity.

To better understand the challenges that American workers face in a hybrid/remote work environment, IBI analyzed data from The American Trends Panel (ATP) created by Pew Research Center. The October 2020 survey included 10,332 responses, and its analysis is based on 5,829 U.S. adults who were working full-time or part-time and considered one of their jobs to be their primary job. Here are some takeaways from the report:

  • Employees who work remotely or in a hybrid environment indicate that they are more productive (22%), more satisfied (21%), and more highly engaged (51%).
  • Many employees are battling for a home office space (23%), constant interruptions (43%), slow internet connections, isolation, a house in disarray, and a seemingly endless workday.
  • Twenty-seven percent find it harder to balance work and family responsibilities, nearly half report spending too little time with their children under 18, and 40% indicate that they spend too little time with their spouse.
  • Some remote workers also feel disconnected from their colleagues (30%).

The report also highlights some things employers can focus on to support their employees, such as:

  • Train and manage supervisors
  • Flexibility
  • Respect boundaries
  • Be aware of workloads
  • Optimize compensation strategy by keeping salaries competitive

Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn