According to a recent global poll, hybrid work is here to stay, and employee experience is gaining new focus.

To understand the impact the ongoing pandemic will have on the future of work, one firm that provides remote-working software conducted an online poll across 7,250 employees in 12 countries to assess changes in their attitudes and expectations of the future work since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

According to Citrix Systems, Inc. the poll (no further methodology details disclosed) revealed several indications of where the future of work is heading.

While many companies have viewed remote-working as a short-term solution, more have recognized that this solution must be part of their permanent workforce and cost management strategies.

Survey data

When asked how they would prefer to work after the pandemic has been eliminated:

  • 52% of respondents said they wanted a hybrid model where they can choose to work remotely or from the office each day.
  • 16% indicated they had no interest in returning to the office and would prefer a permanent remote role.
  • 45% noted that if they were to change jobs, they would only accept a role that offered flexible and remote work options.
  • Nearly 75% said they would likely consider relocating to a different city if they could perform their role to the same level without commuting to a place of work.
  • 41% of employees cited distractions in their home environment (children, pets, etc.)
  • 28% said they lacked appropriate technologies and applications to get work done.
  • 36% felt isolated and out of touch with colleagues.

According to Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Citrix: “If there’s an iota of a silver lining in this crisis we’ve all been living through, it’s that it has caused us to fundamentally rethink work:  where it gets done, how it gets done, and even who does it. Both employers and employees have seen the benefits that more flexible work models can bring in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being. And they are not going back to working the way they did.”

Accepting the new paradigm

Two-thirds of respondents said they were working the same or more hours. While they remained productive, many were struggling to do so.

Minahan said that, while chat and collaboration tools have kept remote workers effective, the new workplace can distract them from their core work, causing mass fatigue and adding to their frustration. “While they may be working longer hours, they are getting less done because they’ve been given too many tools that constantly interrupt them, cause them to switch context across different apps and interfaces, and are not efficient ways to engage, collaborate and execute work.”

In order for organizations to attract and retain the talent, they need to simplify work and give employees the space they need to succeed in what will be an ongoing distributed work environment, Minahan said, pitching digital workspace technology that can:

  • Unify work: Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location.
  • Secure work: Contextual access and app security ensure applications and information remain secure no matter where work takes place.
  • Simplify work: Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalize, guide, and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best.

He concluded: “Businesses need to put an experience layer between people and technology that removes the noise from employees’ days and allows them to work the way they want to deliver meaningful outcomes. Digital workspaces are an efficient and effective way to do this.”