At the end of 2021, RW3 CultureWizard published our biennial Global Virtual Teams Survey Report and the results demonstrate just how much working styles have evolved during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees have found short- and long-term solutions to many of the challenges working remotely, including managing business relationships and communicating effectively in a virtual work environment. All while productivity continued to thrive. 75% of employees are still working from home offices in some capacity, including full-time remote, or a combination of at home and in the office.
Our survey finds that we want the best of both worlds: working from home offers flexibility and a reprieve from long, costly commutes, while working in the office offers comradery, access to quality WIFI and other work-essential technology, and a clear definition between home and work life. 58% say their ideal work situation is hybrid. Only 34% feel that being fully remote is their most productive state, and just 9% want full-time on site.
While the majority of remote workers have adjusted well to communicating virtually, 40% of respondents acknowledge that they still find it more difficult with the quality of that communication, presenting real barriers to productivity and creativity. Leaders of creative teams in particular feel pressured to enforce face-to-face interaction to maximize interpersonal collaboration, but an all-or-nothing approach runs the risk of disengagement and loss of creative talent. Management must find alternative ways of generating innovation that are also inclusive of the team needs.
The impact of hybrid working is not all bad. In fact, our verbatim responses recommend regular check-ins with the team and using technology to our advantage, such as platforms that promote accountability and transparency. Others have found it helpful to hold virtual meetings with shorter bouts of time or reasonable break time to prevent “Zoom fatigue.” Arguably most profoundly, respondents have emphasized that both remote and office work has their advantages when used strategically, such as using work from home days for “quiet/focus time” combined with using office days for team collaboration time.
Do you work on a hybrid team, or do you yourself work both remotely and in-office? What are some of the biggest challenges you face? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Request a demo of our new Virtual Inclusion Course on the Team Effectiveness Track, which further dives into the intersection between virtual teamwork and inclusion.
For more insight on our findings with hybrid working, download the report here.