Bloomberg Law
May 10, 2023, 9:00 AM

Hybrid Working Schedule ‘Here to Stay,’ Littler Survey Shows

Robert Iafolla
Robert Iafolla
Senior Legal Reporter

Many employers that turned to hybrid work schedules during the pandemic are retaining that model of employees splitting work time between the office and home, a survey of employers showed.

Just over 70% of US employers surveyed use the hybrid working model, according to a report released Wednesday by labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson PC. Although some employers have a mix of workers on hybrid and in-person schedules, just 16% said they fully require in-person work.

“It really looks like it’s here to stay,” said Littler attorney Devjani Mishra, who leads the management-side firm’s trio of teams focused on Covid-19, return-to-work, and vaccination issues.

The prevalence of hybrid versus in-person work arrangements is one of many workplace trends featured in Littler’s annual employer survey. The latest survey report includes corporate views on issues such as adapting to pandemic-era challenges, new technology, and regulatory pressures.

Even as the focus on Covid-19 recedes, nearly 40% of employers that allow for hybrid working said their schedules haven’t changed in comparison to 2022, the report said. Another 12% are offering more flexibility and remote work options.

Meanwhile, about half of companies with work-from-home options are requiring more in-person attendance at fixed sites, according to the report.

Employee Monitoring

“There are tradeoffs as employees continue to work through the hybrid model and the work-from-home model,” said Michael Chichester, an attorney who co-heads Littler’s practice group on robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.

One such tradeoff is employers’ expanding use of employee-monitoring technology to compensate for the loss of in-person means of tracking worker productivity, Chichester said.

Close to half of companies surveyed said they use technology to track and monitor employee activity, while 41% said they don’t and aren’t considering it, according to the Littler report.

Companies that watch workers via technology are chiefly concerned with the impact on employee morale or trust in the company, as well as compliance with privacy laws, the report said.

Agency Oversight

The impact of surveillance technology on workers’ unionization rights has caught the attention of National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo.

Her November memo on protecting workers’ rights from abuse of workplace technologies is one example of the hard-charging approach to federal labor law that drove an increase in employers’ expectations about NLRB oversight.

While employer perceptions about the impact of other workplace regulatory agencies remained relatively flat from 2022 to 2023, the share of companies with expectations that the NLRB would have a moderate to significant impact on them grew from 43% to 61%.

The other agency with a noticeable change was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which dropped from 76% to 59% of companies expecting that it would have a moderate to significant impact on their businesses.

OSHA was a focal point for employers at the start of 2022 because of its Covid-19 vaccination rule for large employers, but the US Supreme Court struck that down, and the agency “never came back to the plate,” Mishra said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Laura D. Francis at; Genevieve Douglas at

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