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The Real Reason Most of Us Want Hybrid Work

A ChapmanCG HR Network Poll Commentary

Given employers’ recent push back to the office, multiple articles have been written about the topic. So what is the best and most beneficial model for employee and employer’s health, well-being and success? Director Hiro Azuma comments on the topic of Hybrid Work and the real reason we all want it.

ChapmanCG recently ran a LinkedIn poll to confirm what seems to be the most popular work style; hybrid. In our findings, nearly 70% of those polled currently use a “hybrid” work model, while “100% in office” was by far the least used. These results confirm a recent workplace survey by IWG, which found that hybrid workers eat better, sleep more and stay fitter.

A quick search online and typical reasons why hybrid work styles are so popular centre around flexibility, productivity, and trust. Flexibility can take many forms; where you work is just as important as when and how you work. Productivity is constantly debated, with many studies showing that working from home improves how much can get done.  

Trust is a hot topic as well. Employees want to feel trusted by their employers and don’t want to feel like big brother is constantly watching them. Dr Janet Ahn, a behavioural science officer at MindGym, talks of the quick downfalls when trust is lost

Distrust and resentment can quickly become toxic, creating an environment where employees don’t want to be, productivity and performance sink, and morale and well-being hit rock bottom.

Dr Janet Ahn, MindGym

All valid points, but I wonder if we are missing the most critical one. Perhaps the real popularity of hybrid work models is around the idea of Choice.

Let’s frame the conversation around remote work with the choice of working in the office or vice versa. The hybrid work model doesn’t address the real issue. It is not so much the employee being able to work at both home and office locations but about each individual having the feeling of self-determination and choice when doing so.

A study at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that the perceived presence of choice by college students resulted in an increased number of correct responses on tests, indicating there is some evidence that perception of control over an outcome increases cognitive performance. Here we see the importance of choice to the human psyche regarding academic performance and motivation.  

Having a choice, or at least the perception of choice, will severely affect how motivated someone is or how productive they can be at school and the workplace.

With that in mind, employers may find a middle ground with their employees, who overwhelmingly prefer the freedom of choice in a hybrid model. In the end, the freedom to determine our destiny is what we all want.

Do you agree? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.


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