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Find out the essential insights and everything you need to know about hybrid work in this comprehensive guide.
Hybrid work is a working arrangement that allows employees to perform their roles both on-site and remotely. This work model helps improve employee satisfaction and productivity while at the same time addressing the main challenges they face when working remotely, such as lack of interaction and isolation.
It provides workers with greater flexibility as they can choose where they can work from to augment their productivity. With this working arrangement, the workplace is no longer defined by the four walls of a corporate office but it encompasses employees working in offices, coworking spaces, and from the comfort of their homes.
This working model gives workers the opportunity to work from home for some days of the week and go to the offices on the other days. This flexibility makes most employees embrace this work model more than the full-time in-office jobs.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by Gallup determined that 60% of corporate workers prefer a flexible working schedule. Another study by Microsoft with 30, 000 people from 31 nations revealed that 73% of employees wanted to have flexible remote work where they can have the chance to go to the office for some days every week.
Fortunately, there are different kinds of hybrid work models depending on the type of work you do and the company you work for. You can, thus, choose when you are to work remotely or go to the office or your employer can decide on the days you should work from home and those you need to go to the office.
The four most popular flexible work arrangements are discussed below.
In this model, it’s the employer who decides the times and days when employees should go to the office or work remotely. For instance, a company could require that you go to the office from Monday to Wednesday every week and work from home for the remaining business days. But this working arrangement comes with both benefits and shortcomings.
This model allows employees to select the location they want to work from and the working hours depending on the priorities they have on a certain day. For example, you can decide to work from home if you have a project that requires maximum concentration and more time to complete.
You can also choose to go to the office if you need to meet with members of your team, join a town hall meeting, attend a training conference, or have a feeling of community. This working model has advantages and disadvantages.
Under this model, employees mostly work remotely but occasionally visit the office or coworking spaces for training, collaboration, and team building. An organization may lack an office space but all the same depends on team members working in the same locality to come together whenever they deem fit. The model has some pros and cons.
While employees are expected to work on-site, they are allowed to select a few days every week to work from home or where they feel comfortable. For example, employees might be required to go to the office for 4 days a week with the option of working remotely for two days. Like the other models, this working arrangement also has its share of benefits and challenges.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the emergence of flexible work arrangements as businesses embraced remote work using virtual tools to combat the spread of coronavirus and still remain productive. Even though some corporations had both remote and hybrid workers before the onset of the epidemic, these working models became more popular during the global health crisis as most enterprises discouraged in-person interactions and espoused virtual collaborations.
After discovering the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely, most firms are now implementing flexible work models to maintain organizational culture and the feeling of a community by having in-person cooperation and offering employees more flexibility.
A number of factors are driving hybrid work. The first one is that remote work has helped improve diversity, inclusion, and individual productivity. The second aspect is that most employees are now demanding for more flexibility from their employers. The third element is the opportunity to reduce operations and travel expenses for enterprises. The last component is the need to have a sustainable future by reducing the costs of business travel, commuting to work, electricity, office space, and heating.
Organizations are increasingly concerned that they may be unable to maintain company culture and the community feeling if they extend more flexibility to their workforce. But employers should realize that their workers can’t effectively exchange ideas if they are not given the opportunity to interact outside their job functions. They should also mind that a loss of organizational culture and the sense of a shared purpose can result in increased turnover rates and reduced employee productivity.
Developing a company culture that’s founded on empathy, trust, and inclusivity will be a vital factor of hybrid work. As working goes beyond the four walls of an office, there is a need to alter how people think about a shared purpose to keep the company culture intact. Colleagues need to build connections and collaborate, whether working virtually or in an office setting. However, the cooperation solution you choose should be able to facilitate interactions between remote workers like those that take place when people meet face-to-face.
Businesses can leverage both worlds by bringing the virtual and office sides together. In this case, employees can be allowed to decide where they would like to work from without necessarily missing out on team building and personal connections that are crucial to company culture.
One of the most vital decisions you will have to make when implementing a flexible work model is to choose the best collaboration solution. When the COVID-19 catastrophe hit the world, several firms made rushed decisions about the technologies they would adopt in order to transition from the traditional work model to working remotely. But it’s important to remember that quick choices are not always the best decisions.
Hybrid work has redefined the meaning of collaborating and working in a highly distributed, yet connected world. This paradigm shift calls for the need to reconsider the necessary experiences that workers require to easily collaborate and remain productive wherever they are. It’s also crucial to understand the shortcomings of flexible work in order to embrace the right collaboration solution that would help link in-office and remote employees.
You will have to examine every employee’s needs and experience when choosing the right cooperation solution for flexible work. You will ponder on some key concerns like:
This kind of work schedule is founded on flexibility, and it depends on the form of hybrid work model your employer decides to adopt. Some enterprises give their workers the chance to choose the place and time they will work on a given day. Others will create schedules where employees in the same locality can converge in a coworking space or office for team building and collaboration.
While this kind of work arrangement offers you a flexibility to decide your schedule, you should always remember to inform your team about your working hours. Team leaders are supposed to approach each situation with understanding and empathy and cooperate with members of their teams in order to make a schedule that fits their individual circumstances.
The most prominent thing about this kind of work arrangement is that it focuses on the delivered results rather than on where work was done and the hours worked.
While people may sometimes use these terms interchangeably, they have different meanings. Remote workers always work from the comfort of their homes and may not be required to go to the office. Hybrid workers, on the other hand, spend some time working remotely and they can also choose when and where to work from.
Remote workers face various challenges like feeling isolated, being distracted, and finding it difficult to link with their workmates. But hybrid workers are given the option to choose the days they would like to go to the office. So, you can always decide to go to the office whenever you feel isolated, your environment is disruptive, or want to connect with your coworkers.
The transition from conventional work arrangements to a flexible working model brings numerous benefits to businesses, employees, and the environment.
This type of work presents increased productivity, job satisfaction, and flexibility for workers. Remote workers have a good work-life balance, and therefore, they usually have enough time with their family and friends. A recent study by Gallup found that most workers prefer working remotely to avoid commuting as it saves them time and money.
For companies, it increases their net incomes and the talent pool as they can find talent from across the world. A hybrid working model helps save on administrative and real estate expenses.
It also guarantees environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions from motor vehicles when workers travel less. 40
To sum up, it’s undoubtable that most companies and workers are favoring a transition to the hybrid working model due to the flexibility it offers employees while at the same time allowing them to be more productive. Hybrid work should never be confused with remote work because the latter is entirely performed virtually, whereas the former allows you to work from home for some business days and then go to the office for the remainder of the business week.
Kaustubh Sangam is a Customer Success Analyst with 2 years of experience. Committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving business growth. Proficient in leveraging data analysis to optimize customer success strategies.
Published June 20, 2023, Updated June 29, 2023
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