3 trends on the future of remote work

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Almost all HR leaders surveyed in 2021 (96%) saw a future workforce that would be fully or partially remote. Come 2022, this number has dropped drastically to 53%. Why is this so?

As the world settles into the way of work as we know it today, a new study involving 500 senior HR leaders globally has found that remote work may not necessarily be a full-time arrangement for many companies.

In particular, the study, conducted by Worldwide ERC, found that for the average respondent, just 53% of their workforce will be fully remote or partially remote in the future — a big shift from a year ago, where a similar respondent base had believed 96% of their workforce would be fully or partially remote. 

Additionally, for the average respondent, just 5% of their workforce at the moment is working full-time remotely at home; 45% are working hybrid in office or on-site and at home, and 39% are working full time in office or on-site.

Overall, among its key findings, the study derived the following trends around remote work:

#1 Remote work is hybrid work for 'established' organisations 

Senior HR leaders at established organisations report a small minority of their workforce will be permanently, full-time remote in the future. The vast majority of the workforce will be tied to a location and office, either as a full-time office or hybrid worker.

#2 Remote work is driving employee mobility

Per the study, the experience with remote work over the past two years has made leaders realise that teleconferencing may not be a substitute for in-person interaction. 

In that vein, more than half of the respondents (61%) are more likely to send employees to new locations, either for business travel or longer-term relocations and assignments, than before the pandemic. At the same time, 33% reported no change intended, and 6% said they are less likely to do so.

#3 Core HR policies, including compensation and benefits, are remaining the same

With the emerging consensus that the vast majority of the workforce will continue to be location-based (either full time in office or hybrid), organisations are returning to previous practices, with leaders reporting that core HR policies, such as compensation and benefits, are not radically changing. 

Specifically, many companies have tied traditional payment structure models to remote and hybrid positions, and few companies altered benefits packages based on the locations of remote workers.

Organisations are determining their remote workers' compensation by:

  • Tying it to their current compensation model (65.5%)
  • Creating new global bands for remote workers (40.5%)
  • Creating new bands for specific locations and markets (37%)

"Contrary to early-pandemic predictions, remote and hybrid work has not permanently reduced travel and mobility. Organisations realise the need for balance between in-person collaboration and remote communications, as well as reemphasising the value of international work experience - and employee mobility professionals are the experts at building compliant and cost-effective programs that drive employee acquisition, engagement, and retention," Karen Cygal, SVP at Worldwide ERC, commented.


Photo / Shutterstock

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