Hybrid work models have become the new norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reshaping how we approach productivity and collaboration. As hybrid work models continue to shape the modern workforce, understanding their impact on productivity is paramount. 

Hybrid work models combine remote and in-person work, creating a unique set of challenges, particularly in software development projects. In software development, where the demand for faster, higher-quality output is constant, finding solutions within resource constraints becomes imperative.

Virtual group meeting

“Productivity Paranoia” in Hybrid Work

The impact of hybrid work on productivity has garnered attention in various sectors. In a recent survey conducted by Microsoft involving 20,006 global knowledge workers, a concerning trend emerged. Managers and team leaders expressed “productivity paranoia” with only a mere 12% of respondents indicating full confidence in their team’s productivity within hybrid work settings. This phenomenon underscores the need for a closer examination of productivity in hybrid work scenarios, including those within software engineering education.

The Significance for Software Engineering Students

For software engineering students, productivity plays an important role in their academic and future professional success. While productivity has been studied extensively in various contexts, there’s a gap in research specific to software engineering education. To address this, our study [1], conducted in Portugal and Sweden examined the perspectives of seventy-seven software engineering university students. Most of these students, having experienced hybrid work, expressed a preference for continuing this mode of work in future group projects.

Since the majority of software engineering students favor the hybrid work model, our intention is to conduct a more in-depth study. We aim to delve deeper into understanding the specific factors that contribute to perceived productivity in hybrid work environments. This research will explore ways to optimise productivity in this setting, helping students and organisations make the most of the hybrid work mode.

[1] S. Ouhbi and N. Pombo. “Hybrid work provides the best of both worlds” Software Engineering Students’ Perception of Group Work in Different Work Settings. In the 26th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2023, pp 1943-1954.