Building the culture of wellness in hybrid workplaces

The most recent publication of our Workforce Preferences Barometer finds that most office workers have chosen hybrid as their preferred way of working at the moment.

July 20, 2022
  • Mai Anh Le

Hybrid working model has become the most popular way of working today among office workers and a non–negotiable factor when it comes to talent retention. The most recent publication of our Workforce Preferences Barometer finds that most office workers have chosen hybrid as their preferred way of working at the moment. This practice has gained popularity quickly to the extent that those who aspire to adopt this workstyle have made it a part of their daily routine. 

This work model begs the question of the employer’s role in facilitating it. As it embraces hybrid, the workforce has new expectations not just for remote working but also for in-office support, which expands further the traditional scope of responsibility of the employer. The areas where there are the most discrepancies between what is expected and what is provided in terms of remote work support are finances, technological equipment, and office supplies, with technology support being the one with the highest expectations.

While the transformation of work has created enthusiasm among the workforce, hybrid has also threatened the strength and value of the employee relationship with their employer. Employees' concerns revolve around their quality of life, which is also acknowledged as their top priority. One of the key factors that can improve their contentment is flexibility. As seen in the preceding studies, flexibility expectations now go far beyond straightforward home-based solutions, offering businesses the chance to take another look at one of the biggest gaps in terms of work life balance is pushing for 4-day work week. This highly symbolic step serves as the perfect illustration of what could be a more aspirational approach to work.

On the other hand, hybrid work has also given employers an opportunity to demonstrate their flexibility and empathy by supporting each employee with their own backgrounds and aspirations. The biggest advocates of this are Managers (75%), Gen Z (73%), Gen Y (67%) and Caregivers (66%). Among this last group, working parents with young children and people taking care of a disabled family member are big adopters of hybrid work (respectively 69% and 81%), revealing the ability of this workstyle to help them juggle their professional and personal imperatives.

Similar to other countries, the hybrid work model is progressively gaining popularity in Vietnam, particularly in light of the social distancing measures brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Will Tran, National Head, Office Leasing Advisory, JLL Vietnam, stated that “hybrid workplace is widely explored in regional markets, and MNCs are beginning to explore whether Hybrid can be applied to Vietnam. As much as it should be considered for Vietnam office portfolios, it is also equally important to note Vietnam’s pandemic resilience, recovery and positive economic outlook in order to make decisions on long term real estate footprint and cost.”

In terms of productivity, the feeling of being more productive at home for heads-down work keeps growing among remote workers. Although this evolution can be perceived as good news for corporate performance, it also poses a sustained risk in terms of the ability to create social value and unite the workforce around a shared purpose and vision. The four profiles of office workers (Office workers, Homeworkers, ‘Regular hybrid’ workers and ‘Hyper hybrid’ workers) reveal that, if flexibility in the place of work is key to empowerment, then having to constantly adapt to new work environments raises significant risks in terms of mental wellbeing. 50% of employees claimed they missed social interactions and felt that belonging to a community was important. In this fast-growing world, this is a workstyle which is both full of promises and challenges in terms of individual’s mental state and the onus is on the employer to take care of the employee’s wellbeing.

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