COVID-19 Update

Survey: Boston Is Most Willing To Allow Remote, Hybrid Work

New survey suggests an employer’s appetite for remote or hybrid work post-COVID depends on geography and the specific job.

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U.S. employers in major economic hubs like Boston are more likely to let their employees work from home at least part time according to a new hybrid work survey from staffing firm Robert Half.

The firm surveyed more than 2,800 senior managers in finance, technology, marketing, legal administrative support human resource and other areas at companies with at least 20 employees, and found that appetites for remote or hybrid work depend on the job and location.

According to the survey, the willingness to embrace remote or hybrid work depends on geography, with 45% of Boston-based firms allowing full or part time remote work, tops on the list.

After Boston was San Francisco at 38% and Philadelphia at 37%. Dallas, Pittsburg, Chicago, Minneapolis, Raleigh, Cleveland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tampa, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C. were all above 30%.

The survey also found that job type played a role, with 81% of administrative support roles will be required to be fully in office once COVID-19 restrictions are completely lifted, and just 10% will be allowed a hybrid model and 8% can make that decision for themselves.

On the flipside, finance, technology, marketing and legal are more flexible, with fewer than 75% requiring full-time in-office work once restrictions are lifted.

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Marketing appears to be the most flexible, with just 68% of those professionals required to be in the office all of the time, 17% hybrid and 13% deciding for themselves.

It also varies by company size, as large companies with 19% of companies with more than 1,000 employees offering a hybrid environment, compared to 15% of companies with 500 to 999 employees and 14% of companies with 20 to 499 employees.

However, companies in the smallest bracket were more likely (13%) to say employees can decide where they want to work than mid-size (10%) or larger (11%) companies.

Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director, said in a statement that there is a disconnect between what managers prefer and what employees expect.

Previous research suggests that about half of employees prefer a hybrid arrangement, and about a third of professionals working from home now would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time.

According to this new survey, managers’ main complaints about hybrid work include communication, trust, preventing burnout, recognizing accomplishments and supporting professional development.

“But in this talent-driven market, especially, companies need to prioritize their people and look to the future. Providing flexibility is a low-cost way to create a positive employee experience and inclusive workplace culture.”