Citrix research: Bosses and workers don't see eye to eye over hybrid work

Are you working, or watching daytime TV? 80% of leaders have either installed monitoring software or are considering it...


Research by Citrix shows business leaders don't entirely trust their employees when it comes to hybrid work.

The report, dubbed "Work rebalanced" [PDF] was drawn from the views of 900 business leaders and 1,800 employees across the globe, including in the US, the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

80 percent of business leaders have either installed monitoring software or are considering it...

In line with the Great Resignation, a large chunk of employees (in the case of this report, almost a fifth) are pondering changing jobs, although Citrix founds 63 percent considered their employer a "good place to work."

"Offering flexible, hybrid working is now essential," said the report.

However, overall, less than half of the employees surveyed said they trusted their employers (the figure was 57 percent for hybrid workers and 41 and 42 percent for office and remote workers respectively.)

And while 67 percent of leaders said they trusted their employees, half reckoned that workers, when out of sight, didn't work as hard. This rose to 70 percent for leaders in the financial services sector.

Just under half said they had gone so far as to have monitoring software installed on their employee's computers, and a further 32 percent were pondering a similar move. The report said "a total of 80 percent of business leaders have either installed monitoring software or are considering it."

The figures paint a picture of mistrust as employers and employees alike attempt to adjust to a way of working that was still very much only in the discussion phase a few short years ago, but is now an expectation.

The majority of employees surveyed reckoned the experience of the last couple of years had made it clear that empathy is a critical leadership quality. Installing monitoring software will, at a stroke, undermine that trust.

"Workers that feel trusted by their managers also feel valued by their employers on the whole.

Thirty-four percent of employers surveyed offered no location flexibility, 28 percent insisted on complete office working, while a meagre 6 percent had a "no office" option for employees.

Less than half of the business leaders surveyed (49 percent) reckoned their organization had decent levels of staff retention, however.

It is, after all, a competitive marketplace out there, as a recent rant by a senior software engineer on LinkedIn demonstrated. Among other gripes, commenters on the thread complained that recruiters were advertising the legal minimum as benefits, hiding salary information during recruitment processes, and lying about giving bonuses.

Other recent moves aimed at improving retention include a massive six-month trial that started in the UK this month paying workers a full-time five-day-a-week salary for four days a week of work. Over in the Netherlands, Dell is hoping to attract techies who aren't keen to be tied down for 40 hours per week with its own trial.

A 31-country, 31,000-person Microsoft survey in March reported that 54 percent of managers said leadership was "out of touch" with employees. Half of the leaders in IT roles said their firms needed full-time in-person staffers in 2022, while over half of the surveyed employees already performing "hybrid" work were actually considering a shift to fully remote work.

Doubts and hesitancy from leaders shouldn't creep in if organizations implement hybrid working scenarios in the right way," said Mark Sweeney, Citrix regional vice president for UK and Ireland. "It's high time we embrace a new, flexible world of work focused on outcomes and productivity, rather than presenteeism." ®

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