Updated Jan 29, 2022 - Economy

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

An illustration of a digital hand holding a briefcase

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

  • Back in May 2021, 46% of workers were hybrid.

Why it matters: These hybrid arrangements could deepen work inequities for parents, especially mothers and workers of color — groups that are more likely to work remotely.

  • And yet, caregivers need and want the flexibility; and workers of color do, too. The survey finds that underrepresented groups overwhelmingly prefer flexible, remote arrangements.

State of play: 75% of working parents are remote or hybrid compared to 64% of non-parents, according to the survey.

  • Meanwhile, executives are more likely to come into the office, the survey found.

The big picture... The risk is proximity bias: Executives favor the workers they see in the office.

  • Some managers, cognizant of this danger, are figuring out how to avoid it.

The bottom line: “If we apply the old models of presenteeism and hustle culture, we run the risks of widening the cracks of DEI across organizations,” says Brian Elliott, executive leader of Future Forum.

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