Survey Reveals That Executives Prefer Flexible Working Options for Themselves

Flexibility in where, when, and how people work is informing talent recruitment and retention. This has tasked leaders with identifying and establishing new policies to address employee needs — with many establishing a mix of in-person and remote work as a new norm.

It’s clear employees value flexibility, but what about their company’s leaders — what do they prefer? How do the people enacting these policies really feel about them? 

Those are the questions Zoom decided to explore, partnering with Fortune to commission a Morning Consult survey that examines leaders’ sentiments on hybrid work and its overall impact on employee happiness, company culture, and business objectives. A few top findings that emerged from this survey:

Leaders lean hybrid 

  • More than 4 in 5 (86%) of leaders surveyed agree with the statement “the future of work is hybrid,” while only 4% disagree.
  • Leaders like flexible work, too — more than 90% said they preferred a hybrid or remote working environment versus in-person only.
Ideal working environment Ideal working environment

Why leaders prefer flexible work

  • When asked to rank what factors are most important when deciding on the best working environment for their company (on a scale of 1-6, with one being the most important), the leaders surveyed ranked enabling productivity as the most important factor (2.86), followed by increasing team collaboration (3.44) and maintaining a strong company culture (3.56). 

How hybrid happens

  • When asked about how they prefer where their employees work, the leaders surveyed lean a little more toward remote — averaging a 60% time remote, 40% time in the office split.
In-person remote splitIn-person remote split

Happy employees, quality connections

  • Leaders surveyed believe the impact of hybrid and remote work has been more positive than negative, especially in terms of employee experience. 71% believe hybrid and remote work has had a positive impact on employee happiness.
  • 85% of leaders surveyed believe hybrid and remote work have either strengthened or had no impact on the quality of connections with direct reports.
  • When provided with a list of potential benefits to each work environment, 35% of leaders surveyed selected “None of these” for in-person work, compared with 13% for hybrid work, and 17% for fully remote work. The top benefits of hybrid work include increased flexibility for employees (57%), improved retention rates (57%), improved work/life balance (56%), and increased productivity (53%).
Environment benefitsEnvironment benefits

Finding the right format

  • More leaders believe that events, such as company-wide town halls (56%) and large group meetings (54%), are better suited for a virtual format than in-person. However, more prefer an in-person format over a virtual format for team social events (57%), job candidate interviews (56%), and customer meetings (50%). 
Preferred formatsPreferred formats
  • When asked what practices they’ve found to be helpful in strengthening connections among team members, the leaders surveyed called out company-wide meetings and town halls (79%), employee trainings (75%), and team-building exercises (77%) to be somewhat or very helpful. 

Discover more insights 

To dive into all the findings from the Morning Consult survey, read the entire report here

And to learn more about how you can enable hybrid work, check out Zoom One, our all-in-one communication and collaboration offering designed to connect your teams no matter where they are.

Methodology 

This survey was conducted among 250 U.S. senior leaders, defined as those with a title of Vice President or higher, including Owner, Partner, President, Founder, and Co-Founder. Respondents needed to work at an organization that operated either hybrid or fully remote for the past six months, and use collaboration software such as video conferencing, chat and messaging, or webinars.

This survey was conducted online from June 16 to June 28, 2022, and July 14 to July 18, 2022. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

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