Much like the two years preceding it, 2022 was rife with changes to the way we work. As organizations including HubSpot continued to experiment with new ways of making hybrid sustainable for the long-term, one key learning emerged: people are craving connection and community more than ever.
To understand the role of connection globally, we surveyed over 5,000 full-time remote, in-office, and flex (a combination of the two) employees across companies from the U.S., UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, France, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and Colombia. Released today, HubSpot’s 2023 Hybrid Work Report illuminates the challenges and opportunities around building a connected workforce in a hybrid world. This report also shares learnings from our own hybrid strategy as we support employees who chose the following work preferences in 2023: 63.4% at home, 8.3% in the office, and 28.3% flex, a combination of the two.
Our research is clear - the new frontier in the future of work is creating ways for employees to connect with their company’s culture, purpose, and each other. While there’s no single solution to improving connection across your workforce, the opportunity as we see it is to rebuild how we foster connection by offering a variety of tools, resources, and moments to do so. Here are some of the global highlights from our survey, fielded in December 2022.
Insights from HubSpot’s 2023 Hybrid Work Report:
Regardless of work preference, employees are seeking more meaningful ways to connect with each other. When given the choice,52% of respondents would prioritize great relationships with their colleagues over a 10% salary increase. And while70% feel connected to their company culture and 69% feel connected to their company’s mission or purpose, only 34% feel strongly connected to their colleagues.
Connection boosts alignment, retention, and the customer experience. 33% of flex employees find relationship-building and establishing connections to be the biggest challenge of working with a hybrid team. 66% of respondents who report having a close friend at work say that this impacts their intent to stay, and 31% believe that connection amongst teams would help improve the customer experience.
Employees need safe spaces where they can connect around shared experiences and through vulnerability. 43% of respondents would like to see their company invest in more team-building events in order to foster a strong culture. When it comes to support for caretakers, only 13% of parents and caregivers report that their companies provide forums or employee resource groups to connect with other caregivers.
For regional breakdowns and additional data from our survey, see the full report here.
“Flexibility has been the cornerstone of hybrid work these past few years, but it’s not without its challenges, and connection is chief among them,” says Eimear Marrinan, HubSpot’s Sr. Director of Culture. “But, scaling back flexibility won’t solve this crisis of disconnection and neither will bringing people back to the offices of the past. Companies need to help employees find meaningful ways to connect both in-person and online - with each other, their communities, and their customers. At HubSpot, whether it’s listening to employee feedback or piloting hybrid initiatives like Bring Your Family to Work Day, we’re focused on being intentional and adaptable about how we evolve connection in a hybrid world.”
Prioritizing connection is key to driving growth, engagement, and creating a company that employees truly love. While there’s no hybrid playbook and we’re still learning along our journey, we hope our report provides helpful insights on how to build a sustainable future of work.