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On-Site Versus Remote Versus Hybrid Work: Which Has the Greater Advantages?

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Months into the coronavirus pandemic, 35% of the U.S. workforce was working from home, an increase of nearly three times from two months prior. By January 2021, that figure dipped back to 23%.

A new report from Roseland, N.J.-based ADP Research Institute asks employees how they feel about on-site, remote and hybrid working arrangements.

Here’s how the report breaks down these categories:

  • On-site: Employees who work from the office daily
  • Remote: Employees who work from home daily
  • Hybrid: Employees who split work between the office and home


On-site work: Better chance to get hired, promoted

The report seeks to find where on-site work offers more benefits for employers — and the same for remote or hybrid workers.

First, ADP finds 57% of employees feel their manager would prefer to hire or promote on-site workers than remote workers. They aren’t incorrect, as 59% of managers confirm this.

On-site employees tell ADP they enjoy the social aspects of working in the office. In fact, 70% of on-site workers say they have a stronger bond with co-workers, compared with 64% of remote workers. The same trend is apparent elsewhere, too, as 48% of on-site workers feel they have a strong connection with colleagues in other departments, versus 42% of work-from-home (WFH) workers.

And those working on-site say they’re four times more likely than their remote working counterparts to have unplanned face-to-face time with co-workers.

Remote work: More collaboration, support — but more time spent

While on-site employees might enjoy more on-the-fly interactions, remote workers report there’s a sense of collective energy that transpires physical space. (Early in the pandemic, LendingTree looked at where employees are more likely to work remotely.)

According to the ADP survey, 62% of WFH employees say their team is more collaborative, versus 47% of on-site workers.

Remote workers also express that their team is more supportive — 66%, versus 59% of on-site workers — and less likely to be prone to gossip — 9%, versus 20% of on-site workers.

But according to ADP’s report, 39% of remote workers say they’ve been working longer hours because of the pandemic, versus 21% of on-site employees.  In fact, on-site workers report working one less hour a day than remote workers and not having as much time broken up by errands and personal tasks.

Remote-working parents (fathers and mothers equally, though men are more likely to have dedicated office spaces) express that the length of their days has increased. Among survey respondents, 40% say their days have stretched out because of the pandemic, versus 20% of on-site working parents.

Hybrid work: Mixing the best of both worlds

So, where does hybrid work come into play? Hybrid workers, according to ADP, feel they receive the best constructive criticism. In fact, 72% of hybrid workers say they receive this kind of feedback, versus 64% of remote workers and 57% of on-site workers.

And while it’s noted above that on-site workers cite stronger connections than their remote colleagues, the ADP survey finds that hybrid workers perceive a better social relationship than the other groups.

So given certain employees prefer on-site work while others prefer remote work, a hybrid setting could present the best of both worlds.

Are you a business owner struggling through the pandemic? You could look for emergency loans and coronavirus crisis relief. If that’s not an option, a small business loan could help with payroll or other relevant needs.

Methodology: ADP Research Institute conducted an online survey in February 2021 of 9,010 full-time U.S. employees. These employees worked on a team and haven’t switched companies during the pandemic.


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