This Week in Hybrid & Remote Work – April 9th Edition

No need to do a double-take – you read the headline correctly. We’ve expanded the focus of our weekly roundup blog posts to encompass both remote AND hybrid work. While we remain firm believers that 100% remote companies and teams (like we are here at Cameyo) can not just survive but thrive, the reality is that many companies do plan to bring at least SOME of their people back to offices SOME of the time. So hybrid – whether you agree with it or not – is going to be the norm for a lot of organizations. 

So rather than simply rounding up the best remote work articles and posts of the week that we think you shouldn’t miss, we’ll now be incorporating the top hybrid work stories we come across each week, too. We hope you find this useful, and as always, leave a comment below and let us know which topic(s) you’d like to see us post more about. 

With that, here are the top remote and hybrid work stories of the week that we think are worth your time to read:

1) The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready? (Microsoft)

If you’ve been wondering why hybrid work is such a hot topic, Microsoft lays it out quite clearly right up front:

With over 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year, a thoughtful approach to hybrid work will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent.

So with that in mind, this report from Microsoft is a stellar resource in terms of hard data around the future of the office. How good is the data? Check out the methodology:

the 2021 Work Trend Index outlines findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and an analysis of trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn. It also includes perspectives from experts who have spent decades studying collaboration, social capital, and space design at work for decades.

There is a TON of good stuff in this report’s synopsis post, and the full report is even better, but we’ll just highlight this one group of stats:

Employees want the best of both worlds: over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams. To prepare, 66 percent of business decision makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments. The data is clear: extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.

If you only read one thing this week – go checkout the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index here

2) The Fluid Office – Rise of the Hybrid Work Environment (Norwest Venture Partners) 

This was a really interesting one because the data presented began with Norwest Venture Partners’ annual benchmark survey of all of their portfolio companies, which yielded plenty of interesting data on it’s own – but then they decided to expand the survey to an additional 1,000 enterprise employees. So they first share this initial data set:

We learned that most of our companies are adopting a flexible remote working model, at least for 2021. In addition, approximately 70% of our respondents plan to increase their remote workforce long term, though only 8% plan to shift entirely to remote working. In the near term, most of our companies will adopt a hybrid approach. 

And then they dig in much deeper after the additional 1,000 respondents to focus on 4 big trends that they’re seeing:

1. Most employees like the flexibility of a hybrid workplace, but believe that their companies may not be ready

2. Office spaces still serve a great purpose, even in a remote-work-friendly arrangement

3. Remote employees still crave connectivity and well-being-focused support

4. In a hybrid work environment, collaboration requires extra effort

Check out the full report from Norwest here: The Fluid Office – Rise of the Hybrid Work Environment

3) 1 In 3 Remote Workers May Quit If Required To Return To The Office Full Time, Survey Finds (Robert Half International)

We’ve seen a lot of data about people’s preference for remote work and the flexibility it enables, but this survey from Robert Half International – the world’s largest staffing firm – drops a huge stat. Over one-third of professionals – 34% – indicated that they would quit their existing jobs if told they needed to return to an office full time. BUT, the data also shows that not everyone wants to stay fully remote, either. This truly gets to the crux of the hybrid work argument here:


What Workers Want
Nearly half of all employees surveyed (49%) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location. Even if given the opportunity to be fully remote, professionals expressed the following concerns in doing so:

  1. Relationships with coworkers could suffer: 28%

  2. Decreased productivity while at home: 26%

  3. Fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility: 20%

And if you’re a sucker for an infographic like us, here’s one I expect to see a lot of people referencing in slide decks about the shift to hybrid work from remote work:

New research from Robert Half shows employees' ideal work environment and feelings about returning to the office full time.

Check out the full announcement from Robert Half here.

4) JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon annual letter: How Wall Street will remote work, for better or worse (CNBC)

This article stood out to me because it does a great job of illustrating that even though many business leaders are recognizing that the way we work has forever changed, and even though they’re making massive changes to their businesses as a result – it doesn’t mean they like it. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon certainly falls into that camp. Here’s the CNBC recap of this article:

  • In his closely read annual letter to shareholders, Jamie Dimon says he expects no more than 10% of JPMorgan employees to permanently work from home.
  • But he did say remote work trends facilitated by Zoom and Cisco, and accelerated by Covid-19, are here to stay and the bank’s real estate will be reduced.
  • Dimon is particularly worried about how work from home could negatively affect new employees, slow down decision making, and impede company creativity.

Despite his concern about the impact remote & hybrid work will have on the company culture, the building of teams, and the training of new people, Dimon still revealed a major piece of news that really drives home the hybrid work movement:

Dimon said JPMorgan will “quickly” move to a more open seating arrangement and digital technology will be used to manage seating and conference rooms. He estimated that for every 100 employees, the bank will need seats for 60, on average. “This will significantly reduce our need for real estate,” he wrote.

That’s a big reduction in the amount of real estate that JPMorgan will need, and that’s coming from a CEO who has been very hesitant to the shift to remote work & hybrid work. And if you think about the number of small-to-medium size businesses who could similarly shed real estate costs and dramatically change their company’s financial situation, this will continue to be a very attractive option. See the full CNBC article here

5) Tech leaders form Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance (VirtualizationHowTo)

Okay, this one’s a shameless plug – but I promise it’sa. relevant one. One Tuesday we – along with 9 other companies – announced the launch of the Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance (DWEA). The term “Digital Workspace” has been co-opted by thousands of technology providers, all of which try to define the Digital Workspace in a way that skews the definition towards the particular technology they deliver. This causes confusion for IT buyers and delays their ability to create and deploy a cohesive Digital Workspace strategy. 

The DWEA aims to simplify the navigation of the ecosystem of solutions so that organizations can identify and select only the technologies that address their particular requirements, rather than saddling them with the cost and complexity of products & capabilities they don’t need. 

Here’s what VirtualizationHowTo had to say about the Alliance:

All too often really great technology vendors work in the same industry or business sector and never collaborate on a common purpose to further the common good. The obvious reason for this is competitive differences. However, when businesses are able to set aside these competitive differences and come together to achieve a common goal, it can lead to tremendous benefits for everyone involved. 

It is great to see successful technology leaders working together for the greater good to promote a better understanding of the often convoluted and confusing solutions and technologies in the realm of Digital Workspaces. I applaud Cameyo for its efforts to form the Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance. It will be great to see the continued positive effects from the Alliance as they help to provide clarity to IT buyers and promote a better understanding of the evolving technology landscape making up the Digital Workspace.

For more coverage of our announcement, check out our News Room to read articles from Computerworld, VMblog, IT Business Edge, eChannelNEWS, ChannelBuzz, and more. 

Thanks for catching up on this week’s hybrid & remote work news with us, and please consider sharing this post if you think your followers & networks would find it interesting.