American businesses could save thousands with a hybrid work model

A hybrid work model after the coronavirus pandemic ends could save US businesses a fortune in the future.

Employers could collectively save over a whopping $500 billion a year if they adopted a hybrid work-from-home schedule, where 48 million full-time employees worked from home for 2.5 a week, according to a new report.

Global Workplace Analytics, a consulting firm that helps employers optimize remote work, said that a company could save around $11,000 per employee if it were to move to a hybrid work pattern, a move that many employees would be in favor of, according to the report.

In an earlier study conducted by the firm, 82% of US office workers said they’d like to continue work from home, at least weekly, once the pandemic ended. While it’s a far cry from those wanting to leave the office for good (19% of US workers), the shift to a hybrid work atmosphere is one that has been argued well before the pandemic struck back in March.

“Many like to make the conversation about remote work polar—either everyone is in the office or everyone is remote,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, in a statement. “In reality, the majority of U.S. employees prefer a mix of both with half-time being the average desired frequency.”

The money saved isn’t just on the business side; workers benefit from it, too. By shifting to a hybrid work schedule, the average employee could save around $3,000 yearly. It does not factor in at-home costs like increased electric bills that were seen during the summer months of the pandemic.

However, the lack of commute — one in which many have replicated by creating a fake commute — also saves precious time that amounts to nearly two weeks of time spent in traffic that can be used with family or leisure. More than 670 million days could be saved, which amounts for nearly 14 days for the average worker.

While remote working can at times feel like working on island oceans away from coworkers, the report said a “mix of in-office and remote work mitigates many of the problems organizations are struggling with during the pandemic—maintaining connections between colleagues and with the company culture, onboarding new employees, and mentoring young workers.”

Finding ways to stay connected during the pandemic has been difficult. While companies have made strides to keep employees engaged through digital social events like movie night or weekly happy hours, it’s been nearly a year since US employees have stood face-to-face with each other. Since then, we’ve gathered our own opinions on their living situations by judging their decor via Zoom calls and getting a good laugh at each other while we all adjust to the new normal.