Working remotely works. As employers and employees migrate back into the office. There is a new understanding of flexible scheduling with a shorter commute. For many workers, this is a dream!
Going forward into 2022–2023, we believe that offices will surely still be required to conduct business, and they serve valuable spaces for meetings, as well as team-focused and collaborative work, but there needs to be a combination of mixing working remotely with working from the workplace.
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What does Hybrid mean?
The term “hybrid” refers to a mix of two different things, such as gas and electric power, or online and offline activity.
In the business world, a hybrid company is one that has both a physical presence and an online presence. For example, a brick-and-mortar store that also sells products online would be considered a hybrid business.
The term “hybrid” is used extensively in the tech industry. A hybrid app is one that combines the best features of native apps and web apps. And a hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private clouds.
Is hybrid working, Flexible?
Hybrid working is when employees can work flexibly; either remotely, or on-premises, or a bit of both. Within this style of flexible working, teams or departments can be split between different locations.
Working in this way empowers people to choose where and when they work, this is especially great for people who have to manage other commitments, such as stay at home parents for example.
The designers may be off-site or even outsourced using freelance platforms such as Upwork, while the finance department shows up at the office every morning. Certain positions or leadership roles can be fully remote or in-house across all departments dependent on the needs of the company.
Usually, once an employee gets classified as Working from home, they’ll spend most workdays remote (with occasional office visits.)
In-house teams will do just the opposite and work from the workplace. There are several benefits for companies turning to this work style.
Is Hybrid working better?
For Companies; Giving employees the flexibility to work from home can improve well-being and increase productivity. The reduction of overheads, such as office rent, sick leave and having more global access to staffing, can only be a positive thing.
For employees; Working from home can create a better work-life balance if done correctly, and allows for people to spend more time with friends and family.
Having the choice of where to work, is what makes hybrid working so appealing to most professionals.
Are there any disadvantages to hybrid working?
Companies that can not accept hybrid working have been unable to retain talent. This brings us to “The Great Resignation.” Employees want to feel supported and valued and many have moved to more hybrid job roles as they re-evaluate life and career goals.
How can organisations help with hybrid working?
Adjusting to working from home may take time, for the individual and also the company’s culture.
First, there need to be clear policies that benefit both work-from-home employees and in-house team members. Even if the benefits are slightly different. All Employees whether working on the premises or remotely should feel like they’re equal to each other. And have the same rights within the company. All employees need to feel appreciated, where ever they are in the world.
The Same Benefits for Employees
Environments can feel toxic when employers are not treated equally. No one wants to be working in a company like that. That’s why businesses need to refresh the benefits they offer. The idea is to create separate but equal employee perks to show your team that they’re appreciated no matter where they work.
Employees who work remotely could receive special goodie bags targeted to their location. If your in-house team gets free fruit on Fridays, and access to a stocked-up kitchen; work on giving your remote workers a similar experience. Add a monthly lunch budget to their pay or send vouchers/gift cards for popular lunch destinations.
Company benefits should be catered to types of work. This can help your team feel like they’re getting access to the same treatment as everybody else. Everyone should feel part of the same global team.
Gratitude is important as well, recognise and praise when deserved. Hold virtual happy hours and company mixers. Encourage in-house and WFH teams to engage virtually, and everyone will feel like they’re part of the same, global community.
Promote employees to talk about other things than just work. This could be sharing hobbies or catching up on a Netflix show. You may need to reignite the conversation with prompts to encourage people to take part every so often. But this will create that coffee in the kitchen atmosphere to connect teams no matter where they are.
Everyone should be together for a mindmap session or workshop, these should be scheduled in advance. It’s much better to have everyone on one call than to have separate meetings and segregating the in-house and remote teams.
So does hybrid working, work?
With planning, preparation, and utilising technology; working-from-home mixed with working-in-house will work for your employees and help your business run more efficiently into the future.
COVID-19 has sped up working from home at a mass scale, without much choice from companies or employees. Organisations have been forced with providing flexible solutions for their employees to enable them to continue working safely and effectively while adhering to social distancing and lockdown restrictions.
As countries are opening up and returning to normal. Organisations are combining working from home and working on-site and the result seems to be very positive. Many people agree that not exclusively working from the office, feels more healthy.
In these challenging times, companies need to adapt to the new normal. First and foremost, they need to listen to their employees and ensure that their needs and well-being are respected; ensuring a safe, healthy, and productive workflow, otherwise retaining talent and business success will be hard.