How Opinions About Hybrid Work Differ Around the Globe | Harvard Business Review

Workforce Trends

The article explores varying perspectives on hybrid work across global regions and their implications for leaders in global organizations. Drawing from a survey conducted by the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and Universum involving 651 managers from 50 countries spanning EMEA, APAC, and the Americas, the authors uncover differences in perceptions of hybrid work. While some similarities emerged, such as positive impacts on work-life balance and carbon footprint, a few differences are evident: 1) Desire to Return to a Physical Office: APAC displays a stronger desire compared to EMEA and the Americas. The Americas region was more positive about remote productivity. 2) Social Connections. EMEA and APAC respondents are more concerned about missing out on in-person coworker interactions, corresponding to lower engagement scores than the Americas. 3) Ideal Mix of Remote and Office Work: APAC favors fewer home days on average, EMEA favors more, and the Americas favored the most. The article underscores the need for leaders to recognize and address geographical differences in perceptions and preferences regarding hybrid work. To that end, the authors propose five steps to craft hybrid work policies that accommodate geographical and cultural dissimilarities.