Info-Tech Research Group has released a new report highlighting the latest industry research for information technology (IT) departments and leaders managing hybrid-first organizations.
More than 500 professionals, located mainly in the U.S. and Canada, were surveyed for The State of Hybrid Work in IT: A Trend Report (registration required).
The report’s main findings revealed that hybrid work in IT is present everywhere, with 100 per cent of industries and positional levels offering some form of hybrid or remote work. While this shows that organizations are open to flexible working options, it means that IT has to support the broader organization while functioning effectively to support employees, the report says.
Info-Tech’s report splits the study into two sections: technology and people.
The report found that hybrid work models in IT increase productivity. and that IT is much more effective when some degree of remote or hybrid work is involved. Companies reported more opportunities for hybrid and remote work for IT while also reporting a higher effectiveness score in comparison to organizations that offer few hybrid or remote options.
The report found that hybrid work has also accelerated the modernization of IT processes and organizational digitization. Over 50 per cent of respondents reported less reliance on hard copies and volume of pages printed, shifting towards digital options. Info-Tech suggests that this statistic provides an opportunity for businesses to re-think their relationships with printing vendors. The company reports that resources spent on printing can be reduced or reallocated, and that will help save money.
In addition, the modernization of processes and communication have also developed, with 63 per cent of respondents making major changes to conference room technology due to hybrid work.
While hybrid work was a major adjustment for many companies, most respondents reported that service desk support has been maintained; 35 per cent noted that support had actually improved. Just seven per cent of IT organizations report decreased service desk support, indicating that hybrid or remote work had provided no setbacks to the service desk.
When it comes to industry specific stats, Info-Tech’s research found that the industries where the volume of service requests increased the most were government, media, information, telecom, and technology. According to the company, with the global expansion of digital products and services brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, volume increases for media, information, telecom and technology organizations was expected. When it comes to government, the shift from in person to online work for administrative and knowledge worker roles brought on additional support from IT to help equip employees and end users with tools to carry out work offsite.
Hybrid work has also changed the way the entire IT workforce operates.
This remodelling of the workplace shifted the criteria people have when applying for jobs. Just under 50 per cent of respondents indicated that hybrid work options are one of the most important considerations when job hunting, and that employers should consider embracing a hybrid environment if they haven’t already.
The report also found that hybrid work could help smaller organizations in a declining economy. According to the company, this work model may retain the critical employees needed to survive an economic downturn.
“Hybrid work is a critical enabler of organizational success when resources are scarce, due to the productivity benefits and cost savings it has demonstrated,” the report revealed.
In addition, report findings show that hybrid work can alleviate the main challenge of remote work. Hybrid work still offers in-office presence — something that remote work fails to do. It provides a backup option in case technology or other barriers impact working and communication with coworkers. According to respondents, two or three days in the office is most preferred by both employee and managers in hybrid work situations.
Finally, the report suggests that while hybrid and remote work options have changed the workplace and are now the preferred style of work for many, they do require more “attention, connection, and leadership from managers.”
As hybrid and remote work become ingrained in society, Info-Tech suggests that leaders and IT departments are able to keep up and make changes required to effectively run organizations.