Splitting Benefits of Work from Home vs On-Site

The ADP Research Institute released a study recently that found 9,000 full-time U.S. workers who have always and currently worked locally. The check was a multifaceted discussion about the virtues of telecommuting and office work.

Both telecommuters and on-site workers report the pros and cons of both, ultimately favoring a hybrid model overwhelmingly. The report, on-site, Remote or Hybrid Feeling in the Workplace, found that remote workers believed their teams “sustain a collaborative energy that transcends physical separation,” with 62% of remote workers saying their group was collaborative compared to 47% of on-site employees.

Remote workers also consider their teams to be more authentic (66 remote workers) and less “chatty” or “clan-like” compared to their on-site counterparts.

According to the report, remote workers felt that management teams were more receptive to innovative ideas and results. The review found that remote workers reported a much more vibrant sharing culture than on-site workers.

But on-site, workers reported benefits including less time for work-related interactions and meetings, as well as a shorter workday and a clearer separation between work and home.

Onsite workers spend 15% of their typical workday communicating with teams on Zoom, teams, Slack, or other platforms, while remote workers spend 25% on similar tasks. According to the report, on-site workers in various sectors work an average of one hour less per day.

Employees also report that they feel more personally connected to their colleagues and communicate better. The survey also found that the majority of employees who always work onsite believe that managers “prefer” those who work in person over those who work remotely.

In support of this, 59% of managers told the researchers that they preferred field workers. As the report showed, hybrid workers have the luxury of both worlds. Nearly 80% of workers said they had stronger bonds with their co-workers, more than fully on-site workers, and that was especially high among parents of children under 18.

More than 71% of hybrid workers reported giving formative feedback, far more than the 57% of on-call workers and 64% of remote workers who said the same.

ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson said changes made during the pandemic could force employers to rethink roles they’ve learned and use them to find the right approach that meets the unique needs of their businesses and employees, especially as they continue to navigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

In the background research,  researchers seek to understand employee views about on-site, remote, and hybrid work so that employers can decide how to move forward.

While there are gaps and challenges in both remote and on-site work, the strongest findings suggest that the answer lies almost in the middle, in confusion,” Richardson said.

As associations carefully plan their future path with the safety of their employees in mind, companies have the opportunity to integrate these benefits and preferences into their approach to create the most ideal scenario for employees and the association.

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