Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
7 trends driving hybrid working in 2023

7 trends driving hybrid working in 2023


Increasingly using KPIs and outcome of projects as indicators to rate employees’ performance, and the rise of the 'side hustle' are among these trends.

While the world is resuming normalcy and employees are going back to the office, hybrid working is still here to stay, as revealed by IWG’s 2023 trends forecast for the future of work. Nearly one-third (31%) of workers believe productivity is enhanced by the hybrid mode, and two-thirds of workers believe that being able to choose where they work means they can perform better.

Meanwhile, 76% of job seekers in the Greater Bay Area are more likely to apply for a job that offers hybrid working, while over half (51%) prefer flexible working to a 10% pay rise.

Not only does it appeal to employees, but employers also seem to have benefited from the hybrid model.

IWG's survey showed that among 250 CFOs surveyed globally, 87% of CFOs agree that hybrid working will help them save more than HK$86,000 (US$ 11,000/£9,008) per employee on average.

As more change is on the way along with innovation and new thinking in areas such as sustainability, recruitment and productivity impacting our working lives, IWG outlined seven future-of-work trends businesses should consider when adopting the hybrid model in 2023.

1. Outcomes over hours

Instead of simply focusing on working hours, productivity is increasingly the priority for businesses. There is a mindset shift gradually happening, in which they would increasingly use KPIs and outcomes of projects as indicators to rate employees’ performance, and adopting a hybrid working model will play a significant role.

2. Have laptop, will travel

‘Work from anywhere’ will become the reality for more and more workers around the world. Markets like Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia have started to offer digital nomad visas in a move to attract more remote workers to bolster the economy and tourism sector.

However, the main challenge for digital nomads and 'flexcationer's would be the issue of a reliable internet connection, on top of a conducive working environment. While the idea of flexcation or digital nomad is still relatively new to Hong Kong workers, flexible and hybrid working has increasingly become the model that they prefer.

3. Rise of the green lease

Sustainability is high on the agenda for companies worldwide, and hybrid is helping them to mitigate their real estate emissions.

Meanwhile, businesses are also aware of the importance of green buildings in reducing carbon emissions, and are increasingly willing to upgrade their existing assets and build new buildings in a ‘green’ manner.

4. Companies and workers reap the hybrid bonus

In the face of an uncertain economic outlook in the year ahead, hybrid working will provide a timely boost to both corporate and personal pockets.

The ‘Great Lease Resignation’, where long leases are increasingly shunned in favour of more flexible arrangements, will continue to accelerate in 2023, as more companies seek the cost-saving benefits of hybrid working.

5. Retaining talent with benefits and training

As the world heads towards an uncertain economic horizon, retaining key talent becomes ever more essential, putting a renewed focus on employee benefits and training. Hybrid working in itself can be a significant perk.

At the same time, training and reskilling are becoming strong incentives for workers to join or remain at companies.

6. Side hustles and the pixelated workforce

The idea of what constitutes a job is changing. Google searches around the term ’side hustle’ have grown by 50% over the last year, and these arrangements are increasingly becoming normalised. This ties in with the shift to ‘portfolio careers’, where workers combine several different income streams, often from very different kinds of work, without any of them being considered as their main ‘job’.

Hongkongers who are interested in side hustles tend to look for jobs with flexible working schedules that can allow them to pursue their passions. For younger employees, side hustles provide an added layer of variety to their lives, and such activities connect individuals with social groups and other like-minded people, promoting personal satisfaction and happiness.

The trend is expected to continue as more corporates are looking for freelancers for work, which provide more incentives for youngsters.

7. Purpose of employers is important

In the past, workers might treat their job only as a job and would not care what the companies they are working for are doing. But today this notion is seemingly outdated as it is expected the purpose of companies will become more important in 2023.

In IWG’s survey of Gen Z, nearly a third of them will quit their job if their employer’s values do not align with their own. Gen Z considers environmental and social responsibility as key values, and many of them will refuse to join companies that do not have clear goals of these values.

Image / Shutterstock

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