HR Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
Hybrid workers surveyed say they are eating, sleeping, and exercising better

Hybrid workers surveyed say they are eating, sleeping, and exercising better


The additional time in bed each morning equates to 71 extra hours – or three days – of sleep a year.

Hybrid working could have a better impact on the workforce than we think, as research shows.

According to a new study by IWG, involving more than 2,000 hybrid workers, this form of work arrangement is leading to a healthier workforce, with employees dedicating more time to exercising, sleeping, and eating healthily. As cited by the respondents, the time saved on commuting has resulted in both health and wellbeing benefits such as weight loss, better cooking habits, improved mental health, and a longer night’s sleep.

In particular, the study revealed:

  • Looking at exercise, the average hybrid worker is now getting 4.7 hours of exercise a week, compared to 3.4 hours before the pandemic, with the most common forms of exercise being walking, running, and strength training.
  • They are also sleeping longer, with the additional time in bed each morning equating to 71 extra hours – or three days – of sleep a year.
  • Eating habits have also dramatically improved, with 70% of hybrid workers saying the form of working gives them the time to prepare a healthy breakfast every day, while more than half (54%) have additional time to spend cooking nutritious meals during the week.
  • Employees are eating more fresh fruit and vegetables (46% and 44% respectively), and one-fifth (20%) are eating more fish. Further, one-quarter have also cut their intake of sweets since pre-2020.

As the study found, more than one in four (27%) employees have experienced weight loss since making these lifestyle changes, with the biggest drivers being increased time for exercise (65%), and more time to cook healthy meals (54%).

On the work front, productivity has also seen an improvement as a result of working hybrid – with external research cited in the study finding that overall, productivity has increased by 3-4% due to hybrid working, thus "showing tangible benefit for both businesses and staff." At the same time, close to four in five (79%) said they have been more productive over the past three years.

Why is this so? Nearly half (47%) said it was because they faced less work-related stress, while a similar number (46%) said it was a result of having more time to relax and unwind after work. 

Taking all of the above collectively, the biggest impact of hybrid working has been on the mental health of employees. Given the improved productivity and work, alongside more free time outside of work, about two-thirds (66%) of the respondents believe their mental health is good as a result of this work arrangement. In fact, 81% said they have had additional personal time as compared to pre-2020.

Of this 81%, the majority spend this time promoting their health and wellbeing by taking short walks during the day (67%), and spending time with family and friends (55%).


The study ran between 8-12 February 2023, and was carried out among 2,001 full-time employed respondents above the age of eighteen who are based in the UK, on whether they currently work in a hybrid setup and have only worked in a centralised office before the pandemic. The industries of the respondents are unspecified. While the survey was conducted in the UK, HRO believes the data remains relevant and will resonate with our readers in Asia.

Photo / Shutterstock

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