meQuilibrium, Executive Networks Release Report Hybrid Work

Despite embracing remote and hybrid work, employees fear being left behind in career advancement if they are not working onsite. A third of employees (32 percent) prefer the hybrid environment but nearly half (43 percent) believe in-person work is best for their career advancement.

That’s according to a new survey of 912 full-time U.S. workers, “The New Hybrid Workplace, Built on Resilience, Transparency, and Trust,” co-authored by Jan Bruce (meQuilibrium) and Jeanne Meister (Executive Networks).

“It is no longer true that being physically present in the office results in more opportunities for career advancement, as the past two years of remote and hybrid work have shown,” said Meister, Executive Vice President, Executive Networks. “For those employees working hybrid or remotely, the avenues for increasing their visibility within the organization are not always clear-cut.”

HR policies largely have focused on supporting on-site workers, because they traditionally have comprised the majority of the workforce. In fact, before the pandemic, only 6 percent of those employed worked primarily remotely and about three-quarters of workers had never worked remotely, according to NCCI. But as more employees experience the value and flexibility of hybrid work, leaders must re-imagine the business landscape and communicate these changes to every employee.

Well-defined policies and providing adequate support for all work environments can enhance employee morale and retention. The New Hybrid Workplace survey found most business leaders (66 percent) said their organization has well-defined hybrid work policies, however, less than half (47 percent) of employees agree.

Poor communication and lack of employee support can have serious consequences, including burnout and intent to quit. Nearly half (44 percent) of employees who feel they lack clear hybrid work policies experience burnout compared to 27 percent of those who work in organizations with clear hybrid work guidelines. Workers in organizations without clear hybrid work guidelines are 60 percent more likely to look for a new job than those whose employers provide clear guidance.

“Burnout and intent to quit are significant, persistent problems that not only impact employee well-being but are detrimental to the entire organization,” said Jan Bruce, CEO and co-founder, meQuilibrium. “Leaders should address misperceptions that hybrid work is less effective for one’s career advancement and relieve uncertainty among workers who are trying to succeed in the new workplace by providing essential support for all employees, whether they are remote, hybrid or onsite.”

Remote/hybrid workers who perceive they’re receiving less support than on-site employees struggle more with burnout and lower morale, leading to a higher likelihood of resignation. According to the survey, 23 percent of those said they’re likely to look for another job in the next 12 months.