Remote, Hybrid or In-Office - Which is Best for Worker Productivity?

The era of the 9 to 5 is over. No longer confined to a cubicle, the modern worker now has a lot more options around when and where they work. The office of the future will consist mostly of hybrid workers, according to EY’s Future of Work survey, which estimates that full-time, in-person employees will soon comprise 35% of the workforce, hybrid 45%, and fully remote 20%. Of those companies surveyed, 75% predict there will be no centralized workplaces in the future.

The talent shortage, combined with a competitive job market, has pushed many organizations into adopting remote or hybrid working simply to keep staff. But the jury’s still out on which model is most efficient or productive. 

Why? Because it’s tough to compare them accurately. Productivity can be defined in a number of different ways, and workers aren’t machines. They’re individuals. Some may prefer working from home, some need human interaction, and it’s up to managers to find the model that works best for individuals and teams.

Remote vs. Hybrid vs. In-Person

Studies suggest that both remote and hybrid work have the edge over in-person when it comes to productivity because they share one key feature - flexibility.

Flexibility increases employee engagement, which in turn increases performance, according to data from Gallup showing that engaged workplaces report 41% less absenteeism and 21% more profitability.

Remote and hybrid models both offer employees more autonomy about how they spend their work days, but hybrid edges out remote in terms of flexibility, giving workers the option to schedule some tasks for the office and some at home. Providing a neat compromise between the two, it’s no wonder there’s strong evidence that hybrid work boosts both productivity and performance.

Does Hybrid Work Increase Productivity?

In a study conducted by Gallup, 51% of workers said they were more productive with a hybrid work arrangement, and 67% said they used their time more efficiently. Splitting their time between home and office encourages employees to become more mindful about how they handle their workload, often saving ‘deep work’ for the quiet of their home office where they can concentrate, but coming into the office for meetings, brainstorming sessions, and other tasks that require in-person collaboration.

And it’s not just workers who report more productivity when going hybrid. Just under 80% of managers say their teams are more productive when working hybrid or remotely, according to Owl Labs State of Hybrid Work 2023 Report.

Monitoring The Productivity of Remote Employees

Most employees are more productive when given the freedom to manage their own schedule, but what about those who take advantage of this arrangement to slack off, pick up a second job, or push their work onto others?

Successful hybrid and remote working models depend on transparency and accountability. Managers need to be able to keep track of their teams and spot when productivity dips so they keep underperforming team members from letting down their colleagues. By closely monitoring performance, managers can also identify who is more suited to hybrid working and who might do better working fully remotely or spending more time in the office.

With flexible working arrangements, managers can’t leave anything to chance. They need the tools to gather accurate data that provides visibility into engagement in real time. Employee productivity monitoring solution, Prodoscore, gives team leaders that ability. 

The remote work monitoring software unobtrusively tracks how employees interact with cloud-based business tools to compile productivity scores for individuals and teams. Using these insights, managers can see when employees are struggling, when they’re most productive, and their performance over time - using that data to craft a remote/hybrid working policy that gives workers flexibility and their managers peace of mind.

How will visibility impact your business?