diverse colleagues holding a hybrid meeting with some in-person and others on a computer screen.

Engaged Employees: Is Hybrid the Answer?

By Candice White, CARW

Employee engagement is crucial for organizational success. Engaged employees have higher rates of retention, productivity and well-being, and lower rates of absenteeism.

There is a strong correlation between employee engagement and work-life balance and flexibility. COVID-19 fundamentally transformed the way we think about the traditional 9-to-5 office model, with companies switching to remote and hybrid work arrangements almost overnight. People suddenly had the option to work from home (or anywhere with an internet connection) and many realized how much they liked it. Although the world has adjusted to a post-COVID setting, employees still seek greater autonomy over their schedules and the ability to balance their professional responsibilities with personal commitments.

Jobseekers and employees resonate strongly with preferring hybrid workplaces. Two interesting reports were recently released on employee engagement, and they both came to similar conclusions: people working in hybrid environments feel the most engaged at work. A possible explanation is that working remotely for part of the week gives employees more of the flexibility and autonomy they prioritize while still providing opportunities for in-person connection.

According to ADP Research, “…when it comes to employee engagement, work location matters. Hybrid workers are 1.7 times more likely to be fully engaged than on-site workers, and 1.9 times more likely to be fully engaged than people who do their jobs remotely.” Morning Consult Pro reports that workers “have a greater preference for hybrid work than for remote work” Their engagement with work increased in 2024 from the previous year, while it fell for those fully in-person or fully at home.

Of course, there are other factors that contribute to employee engagement too. People who are part of a team are more likely to feel highly engaged, regardless of their location. Employees thrive in collaborative environments where they feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives. Opportunities for professional growth and development that help people acquire new skills and advance their careers also contribute to employees’ sense of purpose and commitment.

Organizations can cultivate a sense of trust, community and belonging to drive engagement and productivity. While the debate between remote or onsite work continues, a hybrid environment really does seem to offer the best of both worlds for those whose jobs allow it!

photo of Candice White

Candice White, CARW, is Manager of Ignite Career Center.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go further and get there faster. Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition. To learn more, visit ignitecareercenter.com or call 410-466-9200.

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