One in three employees looks for another job when they have to work completely in the office again

KPN Monitor Hybrid Working: hybrid working is also a crucial employment condition after corona

One in three Dutch workers says they would change jobs if their employer required them to go back to the office full-time. 85% of employees also do not want the boss to stipulate the days on which they have to come to the office; they want to decide that for themselves. This emerges from KPN's latest Hybrid Working Monitor.

So hybrid working seems to be here to stay. 93% of employees say that, after two years of working mostly from home, they have found a good balance between working from home and working in the office. In addition, only one in four workers thinks that hybrid working will soon disappear altogether and that everything will be as it was before COVID-19.

“The home office has definitely found its place in the home,” says Marieke Snoep, KPN Chief Business Market and member of the Board of Management. “Three-quarters of employees have set up a separate workstation at home and almost all (98%) say they will keep it. For one in three, hybrid working has become a crucial employment condition: they will even look for another job if the boss requires them to come to the office every day.”

Tuesday and Thursday most popular office days
Hybrid working has become a habit for many. Now that the advice to work from home has been changed, two-thirds are working in the office again two or three days a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the most popular days in this regard, with 46% of employees saying they travel to the company location on these days. Only one in six decides each week what their office days will be. So the likelihood of getting stuck in a tailback on Tuesday and Thursday is high. When asked what time employees expect to be at work, more than half said they would be there between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. In fact, almost 40% do not think it is necessary to go to the office yet, but feel compelled to do so because other colleagues are in the office.

“At KPN, we are all looking for a good balance between working at home and in the office,” Snoep continues. “With that experience and knowing the results of the Hybrid Working Monitor, I recommend above all that employers talk with their employees about how to put it into practice. Agree with each other about when and where you want to meet in the office and for what reason. This leads to the ideal hybrid working week for each team and individual. And build it up slowly; for many people the transition from working a lot at home to spending time in the office again is a big step.”

Agreements on hybrid working
More than half of the employees interviewed (61%) have made arrangements with their employer about how to implement hybrid work. This percentage has not increased since the previous KPN Hybrid Working Monitor in October 2021. The arrangements relate to the minimum number of days in the office (53%) and about what work is done in the office (37%). Over half think that their colleagues' children should go to a daycare center when they work from home and are annoyed when colleagues make video calls with their children alongside them. More than three-quarters (82%) find it acceptable for a colleague to cancel a face-to-face meeting in the office and call online instead, if that was the only face-to-face appointment scheduled.

“In the conversations, don't leave anything unsaid: discuss those elephants in the room,” Snoep continued. “We are all in a new world that we are jointly going to shape. We need a reason to go to the office, not just an appointment. So the important thing is to determine what we are going to do in the office and what the office should look like.”

Hybrid meetings
Hybrid meetings in which some participants are in the office and some are at home are part and parcel of hybrid working and are clearly on the increase: in October 2021, fewer than 10% took part in this type of meeting on a daily basis. Currently, nearly 15% of workers take part every day in meetings with colleagues at home and in the office. And hybrid conferencing is also becoming easier. Companies are now more likely to have meeting rooms and video equipment to facilitate this (up from 57% to 65% in comparison with October 2021). Internet connectivity is also better. The number of employees who experience disorganized and unpleasant meetings due to poor internet connectivity has dropped from 63% to 53%.

“It's good news that more and more employers are investing in their employees' online and physical workstations,” says Snoep. “Indeed, successful hybrid working hinges on an optimal physical working environment at home and in the office.”