Hybrid working makes employees productive, flexible and happy: Cisco study

Over 90% of Indian employees report improved overall well-being; a similar number say they have saved money in the past year by working remotely

Cisco research found that 76% of employees believe their role can now be performed as successfully remotely as they are in the office. Photo: iStock

Hybrid working, which has gained traction during the pandemic, is not just about convenience. It builds an ecosystem that empowers employees to feel productive, flexible and happy, according to a Cisco study. A better work-life balance made 82% of employees worldwide feel happier, finds the study titled “Employees Are Ready For Hybrid Working, Right?”

“While many employees initially struggled with the sudden shift to hybrid and remote working arrangements, our research shows that two years later, as companies pivoted to survive, hybrid working has brought many benefits positive and lasting benefits for employers and employees,” Cisco said in its report. “In fact, this way of working has become the norm and is here to stay.”

Read also : TCS and tech peers explore hybrid options as employees return to the office

Survey methodology

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Cisco conducted a double-blind survey of 28,025 full-time employees between January and March 2022. Respondents came from 27 markets spanning every continent other than Antarctica. The industries they belonged to ranged from agriculture, consumer goods, energy and manufacturing to healthcare, IT, media, tourism and hospitality.

The survey assessed responses in terms of performance (quality of work, productivity, skills, etc.), work-life balance, general well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being, social well-being and emotional and mental well-being. be.

The result revealed that while hybrid working has enabled organizations to benefit from higher levels of productivity, 61% of employees believe that “the quality of work has improved”. The Cisco study also revealed that 76% believe their role can now be performed as successfully remotely as they are in the office.

Read also : Over 60% of Indian employees prefer to work from their desk: survey

Time out of the office was found to improve work-life balance for 79% of employees. The time saving was significant. More flexible working hours (62%) and significantly reduced or completely eliminated commuting times (53%) were major contributors to this improvement. In absolute terms, 64% saved at least four hours per week through remote working, while 26% saved eight or more hours per week.

Financial boost

The money savings were substantial, too. Around 76% of respondents said remote work had boosted their national finances. The average saving was pegged at more than $150 a week, which works out to about $8,000 a year, according to the report.

Health and fitness levels were also improved through hybrid working, according to the survey. Around 68% of those surveyed said their fitness had improved as a result of working remotely. There is more time to train, the impression goes. About 71% said they exercised more regularly now that they no longer worked at the office every day. A similar number – 68% – also said they ate better. For 55% of respondents, hybrid working has helped reduce their stress level.

India’s story

The Cisco survey also gives figures by country. It was found that hybrid working improved the overall well-being of 91% of the 1,000 Indian employees who took part in the survey. Time away from the office improved work-life balance for 89% of them. Additionally, 90% of Indian employees reported being happier with hybrid working.

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The financial savings are substantial, the report says. About 92% of Indian employees said they saved money in the past 12 months by working remotely. In addition, about 17% said they had an increase in income. About 84% of Indian employees have saved on travel expenses while 65.2% have reduced food and entertainment expenses.

In terms of improved health, 72% of Indian employees said hybrid working had improved their physical well-being, while 82% said their eating habits were much better now.

Room for improvement

The survey results suggest that employers around the world need to do more to create an inclusive culture to support hybrid working. They must fully integrate hybrid working arrangements to increase readiness levels and improve the employee experience, he said.

Only a quarter of employees surveyed said their company was “very prepared” for a hybrid career future. Anupam Trehan, Senior Director, People and Communities, Cisco APJC, said, “It’s clear that hybrid working is here to stay, and for good reason, as employees and businesses see tangible benefits across key metrics – from improving the general well-being of employees to better productivity and work performance.

“Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to fully capitalize on the opportunities of a hybrid professional future, in particular to create an inclusive culture, design employee engagement strategies and deploy technology infrastructure to bring organizations to the next level. preparation of their employees,” he added.

Additionally, about 55% of respondents said hybrid and remote working increased micromanagement behaviors.

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