Transitioning to a hybrid office

How familiar does this sound? ‘I am feeling pressure from employees to make a long-term shift to a remote or hybrid working environment.’

You’re reading this very niche article, so it’s a safe bet you have at least a passing familiarity with the concept. And you’re not alone. We surveyed 2,000 owners, CEOs, and members of the C-suite in the United States to better understand how employers are preparing for a return to office life.

Is the Pressure Building in Here or Is It Just Me?

87%

feel pressure externally as other employers begin offering more flexibility or fully remote positions

2 in 5

business leaders who plan to offer full or partial remote flexibility had an entirely in-office staff or only select employees with remote flexibility prior to the pandemic

9 in 10

employers report feeling pressure from employees to make a long-term shift to a remote or hybrid working environment

No, it’s not just you. In fact, nine in ten survey respondents said they were feeling pressure from employees to permanently adopt a remote or hybrid working environment. And that pressure isn’t just coming from within, either. 87% of survey respondents admitted to feeling pressure externally as other employers begin offering more flexibility or fully remote positions.

So how do you get your employees back to the office? Simple, let them stay home—sometimes. Believe it or not, a lot of your employees actually want to come back. In a similar survey taken from the employee’s perspective, 43% favored a hybrid option, and a full 17% said they were ready to get back to the office full time. So, how do you go from fully remote to hybrid?

The Pressure Release Value

We’ve already created and communicated a plan 60%
We’re in the process of creating a plan 35%
We have not created or communicated a plan yet 4%
We don't intend on creating a plan <1%
Other <1%



What can nearly everyone in our survey agree on? Planning and communication. Of the 2,000 respondents, 60% had already created and communicated their plans and expectations for remote workers, with 35% still in the process.

If you’re still in the early stages of planning, consider inviting employees to submit suggestions and concerns. Just make sure your plans include clear expectations on who needs to be in the office and when. So, how often should employees be expected to make the commute? Our poll indicates most offices will land on either once per week (30%), or 2-3 days per week (46%).

Number Of Days Employers Think Staff Need To Be In-Office To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Communication And Collaboration

2-3 days per week 46%
Once per week 30%
2-3 times per month 15%
Five days per week 5%
Once per month 2%
I don't believe they need to be in office at all 1%

Looking at This Data Another Way, Nearly Half Are in Favor of Once per Week or Less in the Office

0-4 times per month 48%

How Employers Plan To Retool Their Offices To Enable Productive Collaboration Between Remote and Non-Remote Staff

Changing meeting room layouts to make it easier for remote staff to participate 59%
Adding video conferencing rooms 55%
Increase the number of shared hot desks and/or open seating areas for employees 50%
Enhancing video conferencing equipment in existing rooms 47%
Have all, or nearly all, shared hot desks to accommodate the flow of employees 42%
Upgrading audio technology for calls in common spaces 41%
Hosting training sessions on best practices for remote collaboration 32%

Same Workstation, Different Building

Top Items Employers Report High Likelihood of Increased Spending On for Their Employees’ Home Office in the Year Ahead

Security tools and software 74%
Computer hardware and equipment 63%
Internet/WiFi hardware 61%
Data storage 60%

Top items employers have provided to employees for their remote setups in the last year

Laptop 82%
Computer monitor 51%
Keyboard/mouse 41%
Laptop docking station or USB hub 38%
Desk chair or other office furniture 37%
Extra monitors 34%

If employees are splitting their time between offices, it might be time to upgrade the technology in both. For the home office, our respondents indicated they were planning on upgrading security tools and software (74%), and computer hardware and equipment (63%). A majority are even going so far as to upgrade internet/WiFi hardware (61%). On average, businesses have invested $400 in their employee’s workstations.

Meanwhile, back at HQ, we’re seeing changes to meeting room layouts to make it easier for remote staff to participate (59%), and adding shared hot desks and open seating areas (50%). And speaking of open seating, to make it work you’ll want to invest in docking stations—ideally, the same docking stations provided to employees for their home office. Learn more about shared workspaces and setting up a hybrid office.

Suggested Hardware

  • Dual Display Universal Docking Station (UD-3900)
  • USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Horizontal Docking Station with DisplayPort and HDMI (UD-6950H)
  • Thunderbolt 3 Dock with 60W Host Charging (TBT3-UDV)

Outfitting the whole office? Email us at sales@plugable.com to learn about bulk orders and bundling.

Bringing it All Together—Communication, Expectations, and Tech

Top Suspicions That Business Leaders Express Surrounding Non-Work Activites While Staff Are Remote

Bing-watching TV/Netflix 64%
Playing video games 52%
Sleeping during work hours 43%
Sleeping in/not starting work on time 33%
Leaving home for non-essential trips 30%
Shopping online during the day 26%
Talking on the phone with family/friends for long periods of time 26%
Drinking alcohol during the workday 24%

Types Of Staff Employers Are Most Concerned About As It Relates To Remote Work Performance

Staff who recently started their careers 61%
Staff who were recently hired 48%
Staff working alongside young children at home 46%
Staff working alongside spouse/significant other 32%
Staff who are close to retirement 30%
Staff in managerial positions 18%

Management has concerns about remote employees, and that’s fair. When you’re accustomed to working with your team and seeing them actively engaged, it can be discombobulating not knowing if they’re working on the next project, or just watching Netflix. But at the same time, recent reports show employees have been more stressed and overworked than ever before, suggesting a misalignment between employees and business leaders. Build trust on both sides by establishing a clear channel of communication and setting expectations for remote workers.

And one final thought—technology isn’t a luxury, it’s a business necessity. Make sure your team has the docking stations, screens, and peripherals they need to be as productive at home as they are in the office.

Questions on connecting your hybrid office? Let us know in the comments, or contact us directly at support@plugable.com.


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