In reimagining the future of work, remote and hybrid work models are becoming increasingly attractive to employees and employers. As a result, some large corporations like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have announced that more workers will be allowed to work from home post-pandemic.
Several companies are returning to office spaces, and a hybrid work model may be the most efficient way for them to do so. As part of the hybrid working model, employees can combine onsite and offsite work as they and their employers deem necessary. A wide range of hybrid arrangements has emerged since the lifting of COVID lockdowns worldwide, offering employees a level of flexibility that was previously uncommon.
What is the Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid work model is a plan that allows employees to work either from home or at the office on certain days, depending on their schedule.
In many cases, employees can choose when they want to work from home or the office. There is no one hybrid model that fits all companies. Instead, every company develops a hybrid model according to its business model and the needs of individual employees. It is no secret that the pandemic has changed how we do business. It also proved the skeptics wrong that remote work is productive. Most organizations now have effective remote working setups and are making the transition to the hybrid model.
Why are Companies Considering the Hybrid Work Model for Their Teams?
As the world becomes more digitized with everything moving online, remote work has gained rapid popularity. It is an excellent way to find the best talent by looking beyond the city/region or even country to hire employees that best fit the role.
In addition, the remote work model saves small businesses money on office rent and utilities. When the pandemic hit, businesses of all sizes were shifted to remote work, relying on IT infrastructure and developing processes to support it.
As a result, they created a system that ensures employee productivity, information security, and employee engagement. The following are the top reasons why companies are considering a hybrid work model:
- Highly Cost-Effective
- Improves the Quality of Work Relationships
- Reduces Virtual Meeting Burnout
- Boosts Work-Life Balance
- Employers Gain Access to a Broader Pool of Talent
- Enhanced Employee Retention
- Employee Performance Tracking is Easier
Pros & Cons of a Hybrid Work Model
The following are some pros and cons of hybrid working that you should consider:
The Pros of a Hybrid Work Model:
There are several reasons why organizations can reduce expenses when fewer people are in the office. With a hybrid work model, you will need to invest less in office infrastructure as at any point in time, only a limited number of employees will be using the premises. Thus, your business may require less office space, resulting in reduced overhead costs. Apart from compensation, businesses spend most of their budget on real estate (rent, maintenance, utilities, etc.). According to a McKinsey study, a flexible workplace model can save businesses up to 30 percent on real estate costs, leading to a massive increase in revenues.
Enhanced Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance isn’t possible if you’re tied to your desk for 8 hours, five days a week. An employee can design a schedule around their circumstances and needs when working in a hybrid work model. In some cases, people may be most productive between 7 am, and 3 pm rather than between 9 am and 5 pm. A hybrid work model allows all team members to organize their time to maximize their overall well-being.
Introducing hybrid work models brings coworking spaces, open-plan offices, and hot desks into the workplace. As no one is bound to a desk, team members can freely share ideas. It allows people time to reflect and think. The hybrid working model lets everyone choose the time and place where they can do their best brainstorming and strategize for better business results.
The Cons of a Hybrid Work Model:
Working from home can lead to social isolation because coworkers have little to no interaction. Video conferencing can help bridge the gap, but those conversations lack the chemistry and camaraderie you enjoy in physical meetings. Isolation sometimes arises from employees’ feelings of exclusion rather than a lack of interaction with colleagues.
Increased Cyber Risks
Working and communicating from different locations increases the chances of cyber-attacks and other related pitfalls like data loss. As data breaches pose a serious threat to companies, they need to continually update their software, manage their passwords, and utilize multi-factor authentication to ensure their digital footprints are secure. Employers must ensure that workers are trained on how to connect to company infrastructure securely, back up data, and prepare recovery plans.
An unchecked hybrid work model with little or no supervision can cause employee burnout over time. It’s tough to set boundaries when you’re working from home. You will also experience constant distractions when your family is present during the day. As employees try to balance work and home life, eventually, work piles up, resulting in burnout. Businesses with a hybrid work model may experience higher burnout levels amongst employees. For example, a McKinsey survey found that 49 per cent of employees feel burned out due to the hybrid work framework.
Things You Should Consider Before Switching To The Hybrid Work Model
The key to maximizing the benefits of hybrid working and minimizing challenges is a well-formulated plan that outlines responsibilities, considers employee well-being, and prioritizes meaningful work. Utilizing CRM software during this crucial time will help you effectively manage your business hybrid work model, enhance collaboration within your teams, and ensure the best possible customer experience. Therefore, what are the key factors to be considered when planning this new way of working?
Striking the Right Balance
Hybrid work models require balance. Regardless of what the organization decides to do, you need to be able to provide employees with a balance in the work environment. Companies must identify which employees can work from the office regularly and how many days. In addition, when employees work from home, they must plan for the effectiveness of employee interaction with their colleagues.
Clearing the Air
Answering a few key questions will give you a clear idea of how you can prepare for working in the hybrid workplace:
- On average, how many days should people work from the office?
- Why does a particular employee need to work in the office?
- Are specific teams required to be present at the office on the same day for meetings?
- When is it best to hold meetings in person, and when should they be conducted virtually?
You can effectively manage your workforce by developing a clearly outlined policy process. Then, continue following the process and making changes until you have found the most suitable model for your needs.
Developing a Collaborative Corporate Culture
The culture of any company speaks about the ethics of the workplace. However, building the culture with a reduced personal touch is challenging. Creating a hybrid work culture involves mentoring, coaching, and supporting employees across geographical locations. This promotes productivity and quality work. In addition, weekly meetings are great for facilitating a positive and inclusive workplace.
More Inclusive Environment
A variety of experiences related to the pandemic have led to a shift in diversity and inclusion. There could be various reasons for this, such as the kind of responsibilities they have at work or the circumstances in which they live. In the hybrid model, make sure there is open communication between the company and teams. No matter where the employees are, they should be included in the company and team activities.
Manage Information Security
Every organization deals with sensitive information. You must work with your IT department to ensure security measures are in place if remote employees handle or access confidential data. Adopting the hybrid work model includes cyber security training, software, and company-issued systems. However, before allowing your employees to work remotely in a highly regulated industry, it is essential to review policies, contract terms, and regulations.
Using Appropriate Technology
The advancement in technology and automation has made everything easier to access and well-oriented for employees and employers. When used correctly, technology can be beneficial for both. It is, however, crucial to know about the best hybrid workplace tools that you should start using right away if you or your team are new to working from home. To get the most from your team, you must:
- Have CRM software for interacting with clients
- Work together and stay on top of tasks with a task manager
- Use productivity apps
- Communication Tools
- Using IP-telephony
Incorporating a hybrid workplace into your business model can be game-changing since it allows your employees to choose where they work. Flexibility is a significant benefit that employees appreciate in their workplace. A hybrid workplace can recruit talented employees from anywhere globally since location restrictions are removed. The system is a great way to ensure a safe, productive, and environmentally friendly work environment!