Flexible workplace solutions company IWG has discovered that a number of Chief Financial Officers across the globe are utilising hybrid work as a way to reduce costs in the wake of economic uncertainties and reach savings targets.

The findings, released in the IWG CFO & Hybrid Work Survey, indicates that hybrid work has rapidly increased in the last three years due to the pandemic, with many companies moving to a shared office or co-working space to reduce costs.

 The survey’s results ties in with statistics from Unispace, which believes that four days in the office and one at home will be the likely home/office split across the majority of workplaces. Both studies indicate that hybrid work and its subsequent design typology are here to stay, with the average amount saved for each employee in a hybrid working model coming in at $14,300.

Almost two-thirds of CFOs surveyed believe the current economic situation constitutes a recession, with 92 percent acknowledging significant financial impacts due to economic uncertainties and inflation over the past year. Notably, 81 percent of CFOs see hybrid working as a cost-saving strategy, and 67 percent plan to continue this model in the long term, splitting work between company headquarters and home. 

To adapt to changing work dynamics, 74 percent of respondents are considering or actively seeking shared office or flexspace, while 64 percent have already reduced office space to accommodate hybrid work. 

Moreover, CFOs are making decisions about office space, including reducing new hires, opting for short-term leases, and implementing staff reductions through layoffs or not filling vacant roles. The survey underscores the evolving role of CFOs in shaping workplace strategies to navigate financial challenges and embrace the benefits of hybrid work.

“Hybrid working helps businesses stay competitive and resilient, especially in times of economic uncertainty,” says IWG Country Head for Australia, Damien Sheehan. 

“The research shows that CFOs and business leaders are adopting hybrid working for many reasons. Not only does it support employee work-life balance and wellbeing, but it also provides a meaningful boost to a company’s bottom line.”

Research by Stanford University Professor of Economics Nicholas Bloom demonstrates that hybrid work increases productivity across an entire company, with face-to-face collaboration (54 percent) and clearer boundaries between work and personal time (43 percent) as top benefits cited by employees. Bloom also found that a work-from-anywhere approach has seen a 4 percent productivity gain across the board.


Image: Unispace's design for Coca Cola Australia, Sydney.