COVID-19 has compelled firms to adopt remote work in the last year – in some circumstances virtually overnight. As more firms have tended to experiment with hybrid workplace models, questions arise on how to best implement this workforce strategy? What it implies for the work models in future? According to a PwC study released earlier this year, fewer than one in five CEOs want to return to work as it was before the pandemic. According to the same survey, 83% of employers feel their company’s shift to remote work as a result of COVID-19 has been a triumph. As a result, many businesses are experimenting with a hybrid workplace concept in which employees are given the option to work remotely. Here’s everything you need to know about hybrid work to see if it’s good for you.
The concept “hybrid workplace” refers to the business model that allows employees to work both in the office and from home. A hybrid workplace paradigm can be implemented in a variety of ways. A company permitting employees to work from home when needed also falls under the same category. A hybrid workplace, to be more precise, allows employees to choose the office for work that they cannot complete efficiently in a remote case. This largely entails teamwork and face-to-face meetings, with some individually dedicated work thrown in for good measure.
A hybrid workplace model, therefore, is not a one-size that fits all. An effective model considers the specific requirements of its employees. This may mean that certain sections are always at the workplace while the remaining only go in for business meetings. For another, it could imply that each person decides when and how they wish to work.
What drives this Hybrid Work model adoption?
If not for the pandemic, some organizations have successfully explored this work model even before COVID-19. Two significant factors have contributed majorly for any business to adopt this model. They are
- Enhancement of workplace tools and technologies – Unlike the early 1990s or 2000s the potential constraints of remote working has exceptionally progressed. Phones, emails and almost negligible connections for resident internet has worked as a roadblock to this model. Thanks to the fastest bandwidths, myriad of tools, admirable technologies that have bridged the gap. This has enabled colleagues to collaborate and interact even outside the office effortlessly. Employees already have everything they need to work remotely, from using chat programmes like Slack to communicate with a coworker across the office to digitally collaborating on a central database with tools like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs.
- The rise in demand for flexibility – Employees have been demanding more workplace flexibility for the past decade, motivated in part by technological advancements and a desire for a better work-life balance. A majority of professionals said that the ability to work remotely is a must-have when contemplating a new job in a 2019 study of 1,000+ employees.
Benefits of Hybrid Work Model
Though there is still a ratio of people who wants to get back to the office post-pandemic, there is a fair share of those that want to work from a remote location. This has called for the organizations to satisfy both parties, promoting a new strategy of work model, the hybrid work model. Let us see the possible benefits followed by the strategies.
- Improved Productivity – Hybrid work can improve productivity if done correctly. Employees can choose where they’re more productive and design their work environments according to their needs.
- Reduced cost of real estate – When a firm adopts a hybrid work model, it has the chance to reassess its property portfolio and look for methods to either minimize or supplement its physical presence with flexible workplace options.
- Dispersed workforce – By expanding their reach, savvy organisations are almost always looking for new methods to tap into auxiliary talent markets. However, with hybrid work, it becomes much easier to acquire a more geographically varied staff and less reliant on setting up satellite offices for workers.
- Improved flexibility – Employees’ desire and abilities to work remotely are taken into account in a hybrid work paradigm. Employees who work remotely save time by not having to commute. They reinvest this opportunity in their jobs or spend it on personal pursuits, resulting in a better work-life balance and more productivity.
The strategies for Hybrid Work Model
Platform – The collaboration platform is the most crucial consideration when creating a hybrid workplace. Every employee must be provided with a full-featured, seamless collaboration experience that enables them to chat, meet, phone, share content, and honestly connect, regardless of where they are situated, to ensure that every worker has their workspace.
Working remotely – When the pandemic struck, many of us were forced to work remotely, and we’re only now discovering the difficulties. Many firms used interim and fragmented network settings, which were necessary to keep business going, but they caused friction and irritation. It is highly critical to address such issues for a triumphant hybrid model.
Office – The office serves as a central gathering place for individuals to engage in rich teamwork experiences, create relationships with coworkers, and participate in training and development. It is still a primary choice for these purposes. So, having a set-up for such events is one crucial strategy to think over.
An effective hybrid work plan begins with a review of the tools you’re currently using. Consider the friction points whilst working from home and an office. As you structure your approach, with possible evolutions of the hybrid work model, your firm will be well-positioned to adjust and thrive if you develop a long-term strategy with a good collaborative platform. A thoughtful approach can land you with matchless results.