What is hybrid-work and how is it affecting me?
As Covid-19 vaccines begin to be distributed, some areas are emerging from lockdowns and moving towards the “new normal”. Companies around the world have had to adapt over this last year to working from home, but now are looking towards a post-covid future, and have a vision for a hybrid work model. The phased return to the office will be a slow process, with not all workers returning at once. Therefore, a hybrid work model is the ideal solution for a safe return to work, as it consists of some employees working from the office, others working from home, or a mixture of the two.
Re-imagining the work model – What hybrid work could look like
Hybrid work encompasses many possible systems in terms of what working environments could look like for employees. It tends to include more freedom for employees to work anywhere.
The hybrid work structure typically allows employees to fit work around their lives better, rather than structuring eight hours in the office, five days a week. This can result in a huge number of business benefits i.e., increased satisfaction in employees, better access to talent, and improved innovation. With the option to work remotely from home and collaborate in the office, the hybrid work model can offer the best of both worlds.
Here are some statistics that demonstrate the growing interest in hybrid work models:
- Generation Z will soon become the largest segment of the workforce and they are interested in a hybrid approach to work. 74% of Gen Z would prefer either working from home or splitting time at home and work (Salesforce).
- 55% of US workers want a mixture of home and office working (Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research).
- 90% of HR leaders will allow employees to work remotely even after the Covid-19 vaccine is available (Gartner).
Benefits of a hybrid work model
Hybrid work means your company can combine the advantages of remote work with collaborative face-to-face activities in an office environment. Some key benefits of this model are:
Increased productivity: A flexible worker is a happier worker, and generally a whole lot more productive than their 9-to-5 peers. Employees with a more flexible work model are also less prone to burnout and psychological stress. In a report by Atlassian, it is said that 76% of people actually avoid going into the office when they have something they really need to get done. CoSo Cloud similarly found 77% of respondents reported greater productivity working from home. These are strong indicators that employee productivity isn’t lowered by remote work.
Improved employee satisfaction: The hybrid work model gives employees more freedom around where they work and what their working hours are. Employees that choose to work remotely, report that they have a better work-life balance, better focus, less stress, and avoid having to commute (Owl Labs). Workplace flexibility is positively associated with both productivity and job satisfaction. As more and more companies begin to offer remote work as an option, employee satisfaction and loyalty will increase.
Reduced employer costs: Not only does hybrid work come with improved employee satisfaction, it can also help reduce costs. Hybrid or remote workers cost less because employers don’t have to invest as much (or at all) in office space, pay electricity and hydro bills, or buy as much office equipment. Other than office expenses, companies that allow remote work have a 25% lower turnover rate than those that don’t (Owl Labs).
Technologies needed to support a hybrid work model
It is crucial to have connectivity tools for your team to collaborate and communicate with each other, no matter where or when employees are working. These include communication, productivity and project management tools. Here are some software tools to help boost your team’s virtual collaboration.
- Microsoft 365 (Share and edit documents)
- Asana (Organized projects to the max)
- Microsoft Teams (central hub for workplace conversations, collaborative teamwork)
The future of hybrid work
Moving forward, companies will need to be flexible to survive in the ever-changing landscape of jobs. With leading tech companies changing to a permanent remote structure, companies need to adapt to keep pace.
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