Hybrid working Helping Australian businesses cut costs, keep employees happy, and raise productivity
CFOs explore hybrid work to cut costs, with 81 per cent considering it a beneficial solution, IWG survey reveals. Image: Canva.
  • Businesses embrace hybrid work, considering it crucial for cutting costs and boosting company resilience.
  • 81% of CFOs view hybrid work as a cost-saving strategy amid economic uncertainties.
  • Hybrid working helps companies retain employees, increase worker satisfaction, and raise productivity.

As the global economic landscape continues to be fraught with uncertainty, businesses have been seeking new ways to cut costs and streamline operations.

CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) may start abandoning the notion of full-time, on-site work for hybrid work, believing it to be the key to meeting savings targets, according to flexible workspace provider IWG’s latest IWG CFO & Hybrid Work Survey report.

Saving money with hybrid working

The report found that 78% of CEOs were cutting costs because of the precarious economic environment, with 81% embracing hybrid work as the best way to slash costs.

To this end, businesses have been looking to move to shared offices or co-working spaces, downsizing their owned space, or both to reduce costs substantially.

“Hybrid working helps businesses stay competitive and resilient, especially in times of economic uncertainty. The research shows that CFOs and business leaders are adopting hybrid working for many reasons. Not only does it support employee work-life balance and wellbeing, but it also provides a meaningful boost to a company’s bottom line,” said IWG country head for Australia, Damien Sheehan.

Significant findings of the hybrid work survey

Almost all CFOs surveyed said their company was financially impacted by economic uncertainties and inflation over the last year, with 93% indicating that they have been significantly or somewhat impacted. 66% of the survey respondents believed they were in a recession.

81% of respondents saw hybrid working as a cost saver, and 67% expressed that their business would continue working in the hybrid model in five years. Moreover, 74% were moving or seeking to move to a shared office or flexspace, with 64% already having shrunk their space to accommodate hybrid work.

CFOs were also implementing other measures to reduce costs, including reducing new hires, switching to a short-term lease agreement on office space, laying off staff, and leaving vacant roles unfilled.

Underscoring the sentiments expressed by the surveyed CFOs were the historic revenues IWG recently reported, with its half-year system-wide revenue growing by 14% to $3.2 billion, indicating the growing acceptance of hybrid work globally.

Happier employees, increased productivity, and lower costs

Research has found that, on average, hybrid working saves organisations over $14,000 per employee.

Stanford University professor of economics Nicholas Bloom’s research on hybrid working highlighted many benefits. His randomised control trial of 1612 employees in a large technology company found that hybrid working reduced attrition rates by 35% while improving self-reported work satisfaction scores.

Additionally, performance ratings and promotions were essentially unchanged, with employees’ self-assessed productivity increasing by 1.8% and lines of code written rising by 8%.

Other research also illustrated that hybrid working cuts carbon emissions by reducing transport time and improves worker health, allowing workers more time to exercise, sleep, and prepare nutritious meals at home.

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