As many offices resume in-person practices and requirements again, the conversation around hybrid working is still a tension-filled topic. Should companies have set in-office days, or let employees chose? Or, should employees have to work in the office full-time, just like the pre-pandemic days? Now, a report from Scoop, a hybrid work management start-up, points to key research that could drive all of these decisions: Higher revenue growth.
The report, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, examines Q4 2023 remote work policies and revenue growth at 554 public companies in the US. At a glance, it was discovered that, in comparison to businesses with more stringent policies, the average public company that allows employees to choose whether to come into the office outperformed on revenue growth over the previous three years by 16 percentage points.
According to the report, companies adopting what Scoop terms a “fully flexible” policy, wherein employees or teams have the freedom to decide when or whether to work from the office, or opt for complete remote work, exhibit a robust three-year industry-adjusted revenue growth rate of 21%. In contrast, entities in the dataset with more restrictive policies, such as corporate mandates for specific office days or a requirement for full-time in-office work, experienced a significantly lower industry-adjusted revenue growth rate of 5%, as per the analysis. Notably, when the tech industry is excluded from the analysis over the same period, public companies embracing a “fully flexible” approach outperformed their counterparts by an impressive margin of 13 percentage points.
Office schedules remain split
As some organisations start to shift back to regular office schedule, 1 in 3 US companies still offer full flexibility, meaning that corporate employees do not have to come into the office. For those that still have office requirements (29%), 49% of organisations require employees to go in 3 days a week, 38% to go in 2 days a week, and just 6 and 7% for 4 and 1 day, respectively.
Flexibility varies by industry, state, and company size
In the landscape of hybrid working schemes, certain industries, state, and company size stand out for offering the most flexibility. Technology companies take the lead, with an impressive 97% providing some degree of work location flexibility. Following closely is the Media & Entertainment sector, boasting a 92% flexibility rate. Conversely, the Restaurants & Food Services industry appears to be more resistant to adopting flexible work arrangements, with only 70% offering such options, likely due to the nature of on-site customer interactions.
When it comes to geographic locations, Massachusetts emerges as the most flexible state, where 89% of companies provide work location flexibility. The trend continues in the West and Northeastern regions of the United States, while Southern states dominate the top 10 states requiring full-time in-office work.
Analysing company size reveals that small businesses, those with under 500 employees, lead in flexibility, with 74% adopting fully flexible work arrangements. Larger corporations, with 25,000 or more employees, tend to favour structured hybrid models, while medium-sized companies, with 500 to 25,000 employees, are gradually moving away from full-time in-office requirements. Overall, these insights highlight the diverse approaches taken by different sectors and regions in embracing hybrid work models.
For the latest insights and research on flexible working, check out our Hybrid Working section.
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