With 86% of US tech leaders expecting hybrid working models for their companies, serious discussions around how to re-engineer the workplace and workday will likely be needed as we emerge from the pandemic.
As tech companies start to implement their back-to-office plans, they are trying to realize the best of both at-home and in-office work. Companies are pursuing a spectrum of return styles—some are putting in place mandatory requirements for in-office time (e.g., 2 or 3 days per week), while others are leaving it solely up to employees.1 It is a fine line between providing the flexibility that employees are demanding and balancing the overall needs of the business. What is needed to create a long-term, sustainable approach to hybrid work that “works” for everyone?
In a survey of about 150 US technology industry leaders, we found that they expect three main changes to their working models as pandemic restrictions are removed.2 Shifting to a hybrid working model was selected by 86% of respondents, less overall business travel selected by 78%, and more employees working fully remote by 76%. This is a future where virtual work is the norm, which could cause a range of issues, including potential breakdowns in companies’ established cultures. No matter what the “correct” approach is to manage this new world, tech companies will face common struggles.
In our survey, the biggest worry because of changes to working models was difficulty integrating new hires into the organization (66% of respondents). New hires not being fully in person could potentially stunt the development of relationships, make training more difficult, and create barriers to fully adopting company culture. This worry was followed by concerns around developing and maintaining personal relationships (43%) and falling levels of creativity due to a lack of personal interactions (37%). In these new hybrid environments, what can be done to help ensure enough quality interaction to maintain company culture and establish strong connections.
Doing things as they have been done in the past, and even during the pandemic, may not be the best approach in the future. We will have to reimagine our workplace and workday and start creating new habits. To improve engagement and equivalence, we should bring all our talent, strategy, organizational structure, and technology tools to the table.
Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice brings together one of the world’s largest group of specialists respected for helping shape many of the world’s most recognized TMT brands—and helping those brands thrive in a digital world.