While organisations in India are trying to get their employees to return to office full time, their counterparts in the US are offering their employees full flexibility and performing way better than their peers following 100 per cent work from office too! In fact, according to a Flex Index report brought out with the help of Boston Consulting Group, a significant 62 per cent of companies across the US are offering work location flexibility to their staff.
Only 38 per cent of US companies wish for their staff to work from office full time. This has also dropped by one per cent compared to the last quarter. At the beginning of 2023, about 49 per cent of companies wished for their employees to work from office full time. That means, as the year progressed, more companies realised the benefits of offering full flexibility. At the start of 2023, only about 51 per cent of US companies offered full flexibility. This number has grown to 62 per cent.
The report finds that younger companies are more open to full flexibility. While seven per cent of US companies are fully remote (with no office space), 26 per cent maintain physical offices but do not require their staff to be there physically to work. About 28 per cent of offices follow the structured hybrid model. That is, 18 per cent have their employees working for a fixed minimum number of days a week, while five per cent specify certain days of the week when the employees are expected to be in office, and two per cent have employees coming in to office minimum percentage of time. Three per cent employers expect their employees to work from office for a minimum number of specified days.
What can be the reason behind full flexibility being increasingly preferred? The report says fully flexible companies perform way better than their peers. Their revenue growth is 16 percentage points higher than their peers!
With each passing year, firms established or launched since 2010 will form a bigger portion of the total companies in the US. Ninety-three per cent of the Flex Index firms that were launched after 2010 offer their employees 100 per cent location flexibility. If the tech companies are excluded from this base, 87 per cent of the companies established after 2010 offer flexibility to employees to work from any location.
Going by these figures, it is expected that in the future, companies expecting their employees to come to work full time will drop to 15 per cent or even lesser. Also, it isn’t just the 100 per cent flexible companies that perform better than their peers, even the firms following structured hybrid post better revenue growth than their peers whose staff work from office all the time.
While 33 per cent offices in the US do not require their employees to work from office at all, three per cent expect them to work from office for one day a week, 10 per cent for two days, 14 per cent for three days in a week, and two per cent four days a week. About 38 per cent require their employees to be in office full time.
It is clear that with each quarter the number of organisations embracing structured hybrid has been going up, and fewer organisations are expecting their employees to work from office. At the beginning of 2023, about 20 per cent companies were following a structured hybrid model of work. This figure rose to 29 per cent by the fourth quarter. While most companies had employees working five days from office before the pandemic, with the emergence of the structure hybrid model, a significant number of companies have shifted to 2.54 days of in-person work from office.
Time for organisations in India to embrace full flexibility?