April 14, 2024

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Hybrid Work Can Enable a Healthier Lifestyle

IWG, plc, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces and hybrid work solutions with brands like Regus and Spaces, has released its IWG 2024 U.S. Hybrid & Healthy Lifestyle Study, which reveals hybrid work has enabled most (90%) workers to focus on physical fitness more regularly. Four in five say hybrid work allows them to live a healthier lifestyle, and nearly the same (79%) say the flexibility of hybrid work supports their fitness goals.  

Long commutes are often a barrier to exercise—the survey finds that hybrid work saves employees an average of 53 minutes per day and most (90%) use the time they save by working from home to work out.  

More than half (59%) of hybrid workers believe that having to travel to a city center office or place of work with a longer commute daily would negatively impact their physical fitness or exercise routine.  

Today, nearly two-thirds (61%) of hybrid workers feel their commute negatively impacts their ability to work out. Of that group, seven in 10 (69%) say a 15-minute commute would increase their ability to work out or exercise regularly.  

“The latest research further validates the vast benefits of hybrid working,” says Mark Dixon, CEO and founder of IWG. “Countless studies have shown that it has the power to make employees happier and healthier, improve productivity as well as creating important cost savings. For many employers, supporting the health and well-being of their people continues to be a top priority, and empowering employees to enhance their quality of life through shortened daily commutes, using the time saved for more physical activity to prioritize fitness is a win-win situation.”  

Additional highlights from the study are below.  

  • Most (83%) hybrid workers find the flexibility of hybrid work allows them to prioritize their well-being and health.  
  • Over four in five (85%) workers believe when they regularly work out, they feel more productive or focused at work.  
  • If given the opportunity for a 15-minute commute, with exceptions to driving or taking public transportation, hybrid workers would consider biking (41%) or walking (37%) to work.  
  • Biking to work is even more popular among younger generations, with half (50%) of hybrid workers reporting they would consider doing so if given the opportunity.  
  • Nearly half (46%) of urban hybrid workers would bike to work if given the opportunity for a 15-minute commute.  
  • Nearly one-quarter (21%) of hybrid workers ages 18-24 would run to work if given the opportunity, while nearly half (45%) of urban hybrid workers would walk to work.  
  • Over seven in 10 (72%) of hybrid workers say that when looking for a new job, they consider their ability to work out regularly.  
  • Three in five (60%) hybrid workers claim when looking for a new job, they give thought to their prospective employers’ perspective on incorporating fitness.  

“As workers continue to prioritize flexibility and their own health when considering new job opportunities, hybrid work will continue to play an important role in talent retention and attraction,” says Dixon. “Businesses that recognize and accommodate the needs of their people will win out on, and keep, key talent for the longer term.”  

In addition to supporting employee fitness routines, hybrid work models have been shown to provide additional benefits for businesses and workers alike. A separate IWG survey reveals a majority (89%) of U.S. CEOs at companies with hybrid working arrangements have witnessed cost savings as a direct result of hybrid work. The same survey finds that nearly three-quarters (72%) of CEOs also cite increased employee happiness, along with two-thirds (63%) reporting improved employee productivity and more than half (59%) finding increased employee retention and attraction.  

Further, IWG research in partnership with Arup has demonstrated benefits of hybrid work for local economies driven by changing working patterns, including bringing additional jobs and heightened spending to commuter towns.