The numbers are in: Companies with flexible work policies are outperforming competitors The future will be dominated by flexible work models, with expectations that full-time office work will shrink to 15% or less of U.S. companies in the coming years.


In the modern business world, embracing flexibility is not just advantageous – it's a catalyst for growth. The Q4 2023 Scoop Flex Index dives deep into this trend, demonstrating that companies adopting flexible work arrangements aren't just surviving, they're thriving. The data is compelling. Between 2020 and 2022, fully flexible public companies significantly outperformed their less flexible peers, showing a 16% lead in revenue growth, even when adjusted for industry. Even when excluding tech companies from the analysis, fully flexible firms are still led by an impressive 13%. This isn't just a small advantage; it underscores the substantial economic benefits of embracing a flexible work model. 

However, the success of flexibility in the corporate world extends beyond fully flexible companies. Structured hybrid companies, which blend remote and in-office work, have also demonstrated their effectiveness. They've outpaced their fully in-office counterparts in terms of revenue growth, albeit by a smaller margin of 3%. While seemingly modest, this difference speaks to the potential of a hybrid approach in fostering growth. 

The transition towards flexibility is further evident from the significant increase in companies offering work location flexibility. As of the end of 2023, 62% of U.S. companies now provide some form of work location flexibility, a notable rise from 51% at the beginning of the year. Conversely, the proportion of companies mandating full-time office work has fallen to 38%, down 11 points since the start of 2023. This shift isn't simply a reaction to the pandemic; it's a deliberate move towards a more adaptable and resilient business model. 

An essential indicator of the future trajectory of work location flexibility comes from analyzing newer companies. An overwhelming 93% of companies founded since 2010 offer some degree of work location flexibility. This trend remains strong even outside the tech sector, with 87% of non-tech companies founded since 2010 adopting flexible work arrangements. The data presents a clear picture: The future will be dominated by flexible work models, with the expectation that full-time office work will shrink to 15% or less of U.S. companies in the coming years. 

The "Back to Work Barometer" from Kastle Systems provides critical insights into office attendance in major U.S. cities and challenges the effectiveness of return-to-office (RTO) mandates. Despite expectations of a significant increase in office attendance, the reality has been markedly different. Real estate and investment management firm JLL predicted office attendance would climb to between 55% and 65%, based on an anticipated post-pandemic return to normalcy. Though there was a brief uptick in office attendance as the summer of 2023 ended, this increase was short-lived. Instead of a sustained rise, there was a notable decline in office attendance, bringing the numbers back down to an average of 50% or lower. 

The implications of this trend are significant. The persistent preference for flexibility over traditional office attendance signals a profound change in the workforce's approach to work. The data indicates that the future of work will likely not be rooted in the traditional office setting as it once was, and the unfulfilled promise of office returns isn't just a trend. 

To understand how technology is shaping flexible work, I interviewed several technology leaders. Frank Weishaupt, the CEO of Owl Labs, focuses on creating natural and inclusive hybrid meetings with 360-degree videoconferencing technology. Nancy Knowlton, CEO of Nureva, emphasizes optimizing the remote worker experience for effective hybrid work through innovative audio-visual solutions. John Selldorff, president and CEO of Legrand, described how their partnership with Microsoft integrates products into Microsoft's Signature Teams Rooms, creating inclusive and effective hybrid meeting spaces. Prakash Arunkundrum, COO at Logitech, highlighted how hardware and software combined to facilitate hybrid and remote work effectively. 

Bobak Tavangar, CEO of Brilliant Labs, shared how Augmented Reality (AR) glasses, such as Monocle, are becoming essential tools in the hybrid work environment. Tony Jamous, CEO of Oyster, advocates for the benefits of remote work for businesses, the planet, and people. Bjorn Reynolds, CEO of Safeguard Global, leads an organization that supports companies in global workforce management. 

These technological innovations and leadership insights are driving the flexible work revolution. They are not only addressing the challenges posed by remote and hybrid work models but are also unlocking new potentials for collaboration, efficiency, and global inclusivity.  

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